The beginning of the year is ushering in predictions and digital marketing trend analyses for 2015, conducted by leading industry institutions. Gartner’s CMO Spend Report estimates that digital marketing budgets will increase by 8 percent this year. The study surveyed 315 marketing decision makers across the United States, representing companies that total to more than $500 million in revenues. Continuing on from 2014, whether you run a B2B company or a B2C company, customer-centric marketing is the primary focus in 2015.
The report also indicates that 79 percent of surveyed companies have a marketing budget designated for capital expenditures, meaning updating or implementing infrastructure and software. Nearly 70 percent of companies in this group have a special digital marketing budget, which averages to be about a quarter of the total marketing budget for the year.
As digital marketing eclipses traditional marketing, CEOs are increasingly turning to CMOs for insight. This is according to an IBM study conducted with CMOs around the world. The CMO is now seen as a trusted position to the CEO, second only to the CFO. However, CMOs appear to be behind the curve.
The study showed that only 20 percent of CMOs have established social network accounts in order to engage with customers. Even fewer have created cohesive social network marketing plans across platforms, or installed analytical software to manage customer data. A whopping 82 percent of study participants said that they feel unprepared for the explosion of valuable data that is now available.
As digital marketing grows in popularity and potency, so will the availability of data and strategy management software. Some marketing departments are investing in IT personnel to operate and manage this software and support the creative department. Content marketing and predictive analytics aren’t going anywhere in 2015, but there are more tools, like sales enablement, post-sale customer marketing, marketing finance, and marketing talent management in your toolbox this year.
In 2015, CMOs need to think of themselves as brand managers, the leaders of a publishing house or magazine. It is the CMOs responsibility to ensure that only the best material is being published in order to have the best digital interactions with customers.