IBM-CMO Study 2011: Big Data,Social Media,multiple channels and changing demographics

The IBM-CMO Study of 2011 is a pretty large scale study of 1700 CMO (Chief Marketing Officers) in 19 industries and 64 countries. Here are four headlines of the study that re-iterate some of this blog's earlier posts:

  1. 1. There is a deluge of data– strikingly 90% of all data in the world was generated in the last two years according to the video summary of the IBM study alongside. To make sense of data you need to have a "gut" and "ground level" feel of whatever marketing phenomena. And that require immersion and learning and not just data analytic skills. CMO's are worried on both counts viz. having people who for example understand how distributors and retailers think and work in each market and also are able to make sense of scanner sales data,web analytics and are able to integrate insights from RFID data in the warehouse,the scanner data at checkout and the web analytics data from online sales. In addition, there is the sales funnel data from CRM systems like Sales or Seibel.But the deluge of data on the sales end is still something company folks can influence or directly control. Viz. you can adjust the supply chain when you see a growth in retail numbers. Not so with the next one.
  2. Social Media and what consumers share or post in social media sites like Facebook or rating sites like Yelp is pretty much out of control of the marketer. You can "listen" and try to make sense but it also needs a lot of authenticity in the dealings and delivery mechanisms of your firm. You really cannot say one thing in your companyspeak "marketing" and not deliver or do a different thing when it comes to service. Your customers will talk online through social media and sometimes your own employees will too. Finding ways to engage customers authentically is a huge challenge.
  3. Multiple channels of communication like mobile devices including the smart phones like iPod and Android or tablets like iPad is also adding an entirely new dimension. For example, earlier you could reach the office bound car driver via radio jingles. You could reach the train commuter by the newspaper. Both push medium. Now anyone not driving to work is more likely to be checking their mobile devices and be more responsive to "search" messaging and "pull" appeals. Just understanding this huge shift in behavior is a challenge. Consider that a majority of students making under $15,000 a year have a smartphone according to Neilsen.
  4. Finally changing demographics in the world. IBM mentions that from 5% middle class in India the number will jump to 40% in 20 years in that country. A similar situation is likely in much of the developing world. Meanwhile in America Baby Boomers are aging, Millennials are far more relaxed and Hispanics are the fastest growing market segment.

All in all, respondents in the IBM study generally felt that this was a most exciting time to be in marketing ! Contact StratoServe.