A new global study of Chief Marketing Officers by IBM has revealed that Australian and New Zealand marketers are lagging behind their international counterparts when it comes to technology savviness and social media expertise.
From Stretched to Strengthened – Insights from the Global Chief Marketing Officer Study, was presented to a round-table of marketers yesterday in Sydney and some of the findings were concerning in this age of global competition.
The major insight appears to be that Australian and New Zealand marketers still rely heavily on traditional forms of promotion and research and are yet to embrace the more modern techniques of their global counterparts.
Especially concerning was the belief that Aussie and Kiwi CMOs rated technology savviness, social media expertise and finance skills as low priority capabilities crucial to their success in the next 3 to 5 years. in fact, IBM revealed that our ranking of 12% for social media expertise was HALF that of the global average.
This is despite CMOs acknowledging that ROI will become the primary measure of success.
Australian and New Zealand CMOs feel less prepared to deal with issues such as Growth in Channel and Device Choices and Customer Collaboration and Influence, a direct correlation to their lack of tech savviness and social media expertise.
Finally, our CMOs are still relying more on old research and focus groups than they are on real-time customer feedback. Once again this reflects a lack of understanding of the potential for social media and technology to inform businesses. The study made it clear that Australian and New Zealand CMOs need to source customer insights that reflect present trends, not what was captured 6 months ago.
Time to cross the digital divide
The IBM study highlighted what many marketers working around web and social media probably appreciate; how much more education and information is required for CMOs around sophisticated, measurable online marketing and customer engagement. When pressed for examples of Australian businesses doing this well the round table group struggled to identify many.
It also highlights a significant disconnect between consumers and the businesses that are marketing to them. Australia leads the world in time spent online, on mobile devices and on social networks yet our leading businesses are rarely engaging with consumers effectively in these spaces.
To compete more effectively in a global economy it seems clear that marketers must join consumers on the other side of the digital divide.