CMOs see digital as the medium of choice in this economy, but aren't getting what they want out of it, according to a new survey from Heidrick & Struggles. In December, the Atlanta recruiting firm polled 111 senior marketing executives at firms with $1 billion or more in annual revenues about their digital strategies.
The impetus, says Lynne Seid, partner in the firm’s global consumer practice, were comments from H&S clients expressing frustration over the fact that so much information exists online about consumers—like their search and social media behavior—and yet marketers felt they were accessing it poorly.
Information on existing customers is especially valuable since in the current down economy, many are focusing on retaining such customers, and cross-selling and up-selling to them, in addition to trying to win over new customers.
Respondents to the survey found their current ability to access ROI and metrics on their digital marketing lacking and rated their companies behind the curve. Many said they would have to look outside the company for help, whether that means hiring new employees or relying on ad agencies—though the marketers said they weren't happy with their current agencies either.
Time after time in the survey, marketers expressed an awareness of digital’s potential along with a recognition that they weren’t close to tapping it.
For instance, one of the selling points of digital media is its ability to let marketers respond quickly to new opportunities, but only 16 percent of respondents rated themselves "very satisfied" with their ability to do so. Fifty-one percent said they were "somewhat satisfied."