Majority of CMOs are leaving customer money on the table

We’ve all seen surveys of C-level executives that seem to be little more than corporate puffery. But when survey results sound more like confessions than boasts, you tend to pay attention. That’s what I did this morning.

The CMO Council has released its Routes to Revenue Study, two days before its annual CMO Summit in Monterey, California. The results are sobering, especially in this down economy.

Three out of every four senior marketers surveyed (76% ), say they aren’t realizing the full revenue potential of their current customers. More interesting, half of these CMOs (46.5%), say they do not have clear insights into customer retention, profitability and their lifetime value as a customer. Does this seem too high to you? Me too.

Others agree. A quote from the Council’s press release:

“It is inexplicable that the vast majority of marketers are still struggling to source and extract meaningful insights from customer data at a behavioral, transactional and account value level,” noted CMO Council executive director Donovan Neale-May.

“Marketing must assert its role as the owner of both customer experience and information and apply this to devising growth strategies that leverage better knowledge of customer opportunity and potential.”

Tell Me Something I Don’t Already Know

The report goes on to talk about how CMOs are working to fill these gaps. Here are some of the priorities discussed:

  • Migrating more marketing dollars to Internet and mobile channels (38.7%)
  • Improving effectiveness of ads and online marketing initiatives through behavioral targeting (33.3%)
  • Pushing for better adoption and use of customer relationship management (CRM) and sales automation systems (31.5%)
  • Trying new customized communications technologies (40.9%)

All of this is a tall order, but the global economic slow-down may just create the pressure necessary to get the job done.

2 thoughts on “Majority of CMOs are leaving customer money on the table”

  1. I actually agree. I’ve worked with and for quite a few marketing departments – all of which were short-handed. I’m not sure any of the departments I worked in were on top of this. With layoffs and a recession, marketing is always on the cutting floor and this will be even more prevalent in 2009.

  2. Good point. Resources are always a major issue, aren’t they? It will be interesting to seen the skill sets of marketing departments in 2010 compared to today. My guess: MUCH more left-brained!

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