By David Howell - January 15th, 2015

As corporations enter a new year, CMOs will be tasked with developing their business’ marketing strategies. Increasingly this will mean evolving their customer touchpoints especially across social media networks.

One key question that all corporations will be asking themselves across 2015 is if they now fully understand social media, and can their core marketing staff lead their business into a future that is increasingly dominated by social media.
What marketing leadership looks like today is the subject of a new report from Salesforce Marketing Cloud and LinkedIn that asked how marketers see their current roles and whether they are confident delivering their company’s marketing messages over several consumer touchpoints including of course, social media networks.
No surprisingly over 80% of those surveyed agreed that it is critical to the success of their corporation’s marketing success to create a cohesive customer journey across all touchpoints. Clearly as consumers’ are constantly connected, understanding how mobile and social media fit together is very important. The survey responses revealed:
  • Enterprise companies—defined as those with more than 2,500 employees—are significantly more likely to have adopted a customer journey focus as part of their overall strategy.
  • 56% of enterprise companies have adopted a customer journey strategy, compared to 33% of mid-sized companies (those with 201-2,500 employees) and 27% of small businesses (those with 200 or fewer employees).
  • However, only 29% of enterprise companies rate themselves as very effective or effective at creating a cohesive customer journey.
The research also looked closely at how marketing leaders are using technology and found: “We asked senior-level marketers which technologies were most critical to their overall marketing success and how effective these technologies were at creating a cohesive customer journey. 
“In this analysis, we noticed a significant gap between the success rates of mobile and the number of marketers who find mobile technology important. For example, among marketers who rated mobile apps critical or important to their overall marketing strategy, mobile apps were rated as highly effective—but more than 50% of B2B marketing leaders don’t plan on using mobile in their strategy.”
Marketing Tools or Collaboration
Salesforce continued: “We took a look at the technologies, channels, and strategies marketers are using to create seamless customer journeys. If you’re a CMO, you probably know this stat by heart: Gartner predicts that by 2017, CMOs will outspend CIOs on IT. Whether or not this prediction comes true, we do know that the availability of new technologies for CMOs to purchase shows no sign of slowing down.”
Percentage of Marketing Leaders Using Popular Digital Marketing Technologies
Gartner have also looked at the changing role of the CMO and concluded that 25% of CMO state they are increasingly being asked by the CEOs to lead their organisation’s customer experiences. "It's a new expectation and it's a difficult expectation," said Laura McLellan, VP-marketing strategies at Gartner and author of the report.
xecutive Managements Increased Expectation on CMOs
One massive advantage that social media has delivered to marketing leaders is an unprecedented insight into who their customers are but also how their corporation’s marketing messages are converting into revenue. However, Salesforce also shows that CMOs are now more sophisticated: “Of course, the importance of marketing-influenced revenue growth will never (and shouldn’t) disappear,” their report concluded.
“But customer journey ownership means that marketers must measure and act on data about customers, not just data about dollars. As one senior-level survey respondent wrote, “We are gathering metrics on our customers in order to find out what makes them choose us.” Marketing success now sits squarely on the shoulders of data and analytics expertise.
“Today more than ever before, customers are in charge. With technology’s constant changes and the resulting business impacts, companies must become helpful, accessible, and always-on resources for their customers. A customer doesn’t care what your marketing ROI is, but he or she can surely affect it—pointing to a need for more “state of the customer” metrics across all marketing teams.”
Marketing leaders then are rapidly evolving their responsibilities as a reaction to the changes that have taken place with their customer journeys, and of course the increase in customer touchpoints, none more so than across the social media space. The Salesforce data indicates that CMOs are becoming more socially orientated as their CEOs direct their businesses to embrace the social media landscape in more intimate ways.
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