Marketers today have more on their plates than ever before. In fact, their top concern is keeping up with the proliferation of channels over the next three to five years, according to IBM’s The State of Marketing 2012, a survey of more than 350 marketers.
Despite the challenges they face, some marketers are finding ways to consistently perform above average. What are they doing that others haven’t been able to yet? And how might these traits pertain to social media, specifically?
IBM’s research uncovers these five traits:
They have more ownership when it comes to important responsibilities
When it comes to the classic four “Ps” (product, price, place, and promotion), top-performing marketers are more likely to have a say in final decisions about products and services, price, and promotion. Tapping social media to learn what the social space is saying about products and price point, especially in relation to competitors, can provide valuable insights to help inform these decisions. Social media and digital also continue to play an even bigger role in promotions.
They have their hands in much more than marketing
High-performing marketers are three times as likely to drive the customer experience, according to IBM. Owning one-to-one marketing, guiding marketing messaging to customers during the sales process, and distributing customer care messages are all areas marketers at top-performing companies are likely to control. Social media is infiltrating these areas, too. By 2020, 90% of enterprises will use social media for customer service, up from 25% in 2010. Social media is becoming more integrated into email marketing and into multiple touch points in the sales cycle.
They’re using more data
Data is hot, and top-performing marketers are ahead of the curve. They are analyzing data to help guide their choices for targeting in traditional channels and syndicating display advertising. Capturing, analyzing, and acting on social data is a new opportunity that companies are just beginning to harness. Just a third are doing this today. (More on how to use this data here.)
Their CMOs and CIOs are BFFs, so to speak
60% of respondents in the survey said that a lack of alignment between marketing and IT created big hurdles to adopting new technology. In general, marketing and IT are getting along swimmingly, but top-performing marketers are working exceptionally well with their CIOs. Considering reports find that CMOs are expected to outspend CIOs on tech within the next 5 years, top-performing marketers have recognized the importance of opening these lines of communication.
When it comes to social media, a strong relationship between the CMO and CIO makes it easier to collaborate when choosing the best social software solutions for their company. Selecting analytics tools, Social CRM platforms, and social management software – and figuring out how all of these integrate into existing marketing and business systems – will be a joint effort between the CMO and CIO.
They’re mobilizing quicker – at least for now
Mobile is growing like crazy, but it’s also a top challenge for marketers. Higher performing companies are implementing mobile tactics now. Brands that are not yet doing this know they need to start: More than 30% of marketers surveyed who don’t currently employ tactics like mobile websites, mobile apps, and mobile ads are planning to do so in less than 12 months.
The paths of mobile and social are becoming increasingly intertwined. Facebook users access the network via mobile more often than through the desktop, according to comscore. Smartphone and tablet adoption is rising, and high-performing marketers are already there.
Tell us what you think about IBM’s findings. What other trends must marketers get their heads around to be successful in the coming years?
image: the gamblin family, flickr