As you might expect, the top marketing challenges identified by survey respondents were:
- Acquiring new customers (42%)
- Retaining existing customers and improving loyalty and satisfaction (35%)
- Creating consistent, relevant and positive customer experiences across channels (34%)
- Understanding social media and using social channels effectively (34%)
In analyzing the survey results, IBM identified a group of “Leading Marketers” based on their ownership of the customer experience across channels and their use of marketing technologies. As a group, the Leading Marketers delivered superior financial performance than “all other marketers” on three financial measures.
- 3-yr Gross Profit Growth – Leading Marketers 1.8x higher
- 3-yr Net Income Growth – Leading Marketers 3.4x higher
- 3-yr Stock Price Growth – Leading Marketers 2.4x higher
IBM identified numerous differences between Leading Marketers and all other marketers, and the table below shows just some of the major differences revealed by the survey responses.
I would suggest that one of the most important differences between Leading Marketers and other firms is that Leading Marketers take a broader view of marketing responsibilities. For example, the IBM survey asked participants to rate the effectiveness of their marketing organization in performing across all 4P’s of the marketing mix. The table below shows the percentages of Leading Marketers and all other marketers who rated themselves as highly effective across the 4P’s. Notice that the least difference between Leading Marketers and all other marketers is in the area of promotion.
In an earlier post, I argued that marketers must focus on all components of the marketing mix if they want to reclaim their strategic role in the C-suite. The results of the IBM survey demonstrate the importance of taking a more holistic view of marketing’s role in the enterprise.