At least a recent survey indicates this is the case. CMO.com (Aussie version) recently reported a few findings from the 2013 Marketing Performance Management Survey conducted jointly by VisionEdge Marketing, ITSMA and Forrester Research. One finding included:
- Only nine percent of CEOs and six percent of CFOs use marketing data for their strategic planning
The article goes on to say that c-level executives are looking for more metrics that will help them in making strategic recommendations. As it stands, however, it appears that most data commonly being reported by CMOs (and likely by their internal marketing colleagues) to c-level execs is related to tactical marketing activities. The article quotes Forrester vice-president and principal analyst serving CMOs, Laura Ramos, who refers to this: “These systems are fine for providing a view into marketing program activity and pipeline, but the research shows most fail to produce the level of information and metrics that business executives want to see.”
Another survey finding (below) shows a relatively small proportion of marketers are using, and presumably supplying, c-level executives with the more strategic marketing insights that they desire.
- Thirty five percent (of marketers) are on average using data analytics to predict customer behavior, make strategic recommendations, drive innovation or impact customer acquisitions, retention or growth
This reminds us of both the high need and opportunity to utilize data analytics and market research to provide insights for strategic decisions as well as tactical ones.
Recall that, at the end of the day, most CMOs are in alignment with other executives in needing to keep their eye on basic, key metrics such as both profitability and market share by individual business unit. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, CMOs are in charge of the identification and development of product-market strategies to achieve top-level goals. Strategies such as innovation (i.e. new product or service), customer growth (i.e. possibly including new markets), customer retention and others all require doing something different than is done today. In order to identify not only what to do, how to do it, but also how it will be measured, market research and data-driven insights will be necessary.