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CMOs: Digital to Inflict Major Change

25 Jun, 2014 By: Doug McPherson

NEW YORK – An Accenture Interactive survey says 78 percent of senior marketing executives believe corporate marketing will see a fundamental transformation during the next five years as digital methods and mobile technologies unfold.

More than a third of executives say at least 75 percent of their budgets will go toward digital methods. Why? Digital works. They say their E-mail, display ad and search campaigns increased by 14, 10 and 9 percentage points during the past two years while telemarketing’s value dropped 10 percent.

But 79 percent also believe their companies will not be fully functioning digital businesses within five years. Insiders say many of the companies will suffer the effects of a mobile generation gap. Marketers under age 35 attach higher significance to the use of mobile marketing methods (38 percent) than do their older counterparts (18 percent). And finding capable tech talent becomes ever harder: the survey reveals a 10-percent decline in customer and digital analytics capabilities.

“Digital is the marketing game changer,” says Brian Whipple, senior managing director of Accenture Interactive. “In an information-overloaded world, the traditional brand-centric marketing approach has long lost the appeal it once had for attracting consumers and assuring a healthy rate of return from marketing investments.”

Whipple says today’s consumer is more in control than ever – and this is causing more turbulence for today’s marketers. “As consumers go digital and interact across multiple devices and channels (encouraged by their millennial offspring), they expect brands to fit their needs of the moment with relevant experiences. If the brand doesn’t measure up, consumers move on.”

Accenture says marketing chiefs need to continue to embrace digital and become “catalysts to help their companies take advantage of the wider digital opportunity and protect against broader digital threats,” Whipple says.

Accenture’s other recommendations include:

  • Reverse-engineering marketing initiatives around desired outcomes instead of sales transactions.
  • Designing campaigns to influence, engage and stimulate customers rather than target, capture and convert them.
  • Seeing customer experience as an ongoing dialog covering sales, service, retention and loyalty.

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