digital age

The CEO aims at providing steady, predictable financial growth – as per the demands of the Board or the Investment Community. The “Management guidance” – prediction and execution – is as critical as it gets. The CMO carefully drafts his Marketing plan to make sure the overall Management guidance – both in terms of top-line and bottom-line are fully met.
Easier said than done; the digital landscape has completely revolutionized the market-place. The old commandments have been destroyed; and new rules are unclear. Rather, they keep changing. What are some of the key challenges that have come up in the digital era? Some of them can be found here .

  • Shift of Control on the Conversation – from Marketers to Consumers: The marketing concepts have turned on its head with “push” (TV, Radio, OOH etc.) giving way to “pull” (Digital Media).
  • (Almost) Unmanageable Speed of Business: With the technology gaining imprint on the day to day lives of the consumer the speed at which brands need to communicate with their consumers increases every day.
  • Continuously Evolving Consumer Base: The brands need to constantly evolve their personality and become more personable / approachable for consumers to develop relationship with them.

Well, the situation may not be as bleak as it sounds. There are ways to overcome these challenges. We have seen that forward-looking CMOs do the following:

  • Invest in Modern Media: With changes in marketing landscape, CMOs make a strategic shift in their digital channels. They claw their way back to “manage” (if not “own”) the customer conversation. Needless to say, it influences how they manage the overall brand experience.
  • Engage with the evolving customers: The good CMOs figure out the mechanisms to listen to, and actively engage with consumers. They adapt themselves to the ever-evolving tastes of their customer base to influence their buying behavior.
  • Manage the Brand “Real Time”: They invest in technology that allows them to manage their brands 24×7. Both positive and negative messages to go “viral”; how a CMO manages his own brand messages – as well as how he responds to market changes – has a direct and immediate impact on the market success.
  • Move away from Gut-based Decision Making: CMOs are lapping up the advanced analytical tools and techniques available. This allows them to analyze market developments better; to simulate more possibilities, and make more robust predictions. Eventually this helps them take more confident decisions.

Most of these steps involve investments in Data analytics and Mobile applications. As per the latest IBM CMO Survey, the financially outperforming CMOs are the “Digital Pacesetters”.

Source: IBM CMO Survey
On profiling of these “Digital Pacesetters”, distinguishing characteristics seem to be their organizations’ ability to leverage their data and gather Customer Insights.


Source: IBM CMO Survey
Not surprisingly, Data Analytics assumes the top priority in CMOs digital plans in the next 3 to 5 years.

Source: IBM CMO Survey
The changing Digital landscape has surely unsettled the old regimes. Some firms are doing the right moves, to make the most of these changes. Question is – What is your idea of “the right moves”?

Authored by Imran Saeed – CPG Leader, Director at Absolutdata   and Aviral Mathur – Analytics & Technology Thinker, Manager at Absolutdata.  .