As the CIO becomes a mini CEO, what of the CMO?

 We recently had a look at the developing role of CIOs as they transform themselves from IT provider to business enabler. Then we wondered whether the thinking of the CEO is in line with the CIO. Now, we thought, let us look at the CMO and consider his priorities.

Our primary source for this is the Telecoms IQ survey that took place ahead of the recent Telecoms CMO Summit.

As you might expect 94 percent of telecom CMOs say that their focus on customer centricity has increased over the past five years, and 84 percent have increased their focus on technology. Presumably in a technology driven industry, this means using the technology for customer centricity rather than focusing generally on the technology.

In the Boardroom, not many CMOs have a problem getting support from the CEO – only eight percent – but over half, at 52 percent do have a challenge collaborating with the CIO. Oddly, 28 percent find that proving that their role is not dead is a challenge.

Possibly the most interesting results from the survey are the CMOs attitude to social and digital marketing, where they definitely seem to be on the back foot. 84 percent said that they are ‘forcing me to adapt my business model’ and 62 percent say that ‘they are requiring me to build new skillsets internally.’ 20 percent have ‘fully to grasp’ these methods within the organization, 54 percent are only able to provide customer care via the social and digital channels. Only 12 percent seem to be using digital and social channels to drive new revenues.

This ‘catch up’ around the topic of social channels is reflected in a wider, cross industry survey carried out by IBM.  This one interviewed 500 CMOs to understand their challenges.

Key findings include:   

* CMOs believe advanced analytics will play a significant role in helping them reach their goals, but feel underprepared to capitalize on the data explosion and social media. 

* CMO’s influence on a strategic level is increasing within their companies. 

* CMO’s see a significant business opportunity in mobile applications over the next 3-5 years. 

The study also identified three distinct types of CMO – the Traditionalist, the Social Strategist and the Digital Pacesetter.

Which type works in your organization?

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About Alex Leslie 400 Articles
Alex was Founder and CEO of the Global Billing Association (GBA), a trade body focused on the communications sector. He is a sought after speaker and chairman at leading industry conferences, and is widely published in communications magazines around the world. Until it closed, he was Contributing Editor, OSS/BSS for Connected Planet.

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