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Companies falling short in digital and social marketing

Marketers are realizing that they need to take better advantage of new tools for the digital world. New research shows that most companies aren't doing enough.

A new survey of chief marketing officers (CMOs) conducted by Heidrick & Struggles and Digital Scientists reveals that CMOs across nearly all sectors believe their companies are under-delivering in the area of digital marketing.

Digital marketing is obviously a broad term, encompassing everything from online advertising and social media to generalized customer-acquisition and awareness programs. And really digital marketing is just another avenue of marketing's overarching goal: having what people want.

Regardless of the method or delivery mechanism there are two universal rules related to sales and marketing:

  • Marketing is having what people want
  • Sales is getting rid of what you have

The two items above are arguably the most important things I learned in business school, and frame (for better or worse) the way that I think about product development, marketing, and so on.

The survey also showed that marketers rely on digital marketing proficiency as a way to acquire new customers, while brand-building and geographic expansion of markets were seen as much less important.

Other key survey findings:

  • Proficiency in digital marketing is highly valued, but under-delivered
  • There is an over-reliance on outside agencies to meet talent gap
  • Key growth tactics: high points for analytics and search engine optimization, low points for new media advertising
  • Few are satisfied with their company's marketing effectiveness.
  • Marketers need more help from IT
  • Few want to focus on global growth

As always, surveys need to be taken with a grain of salt, but it's good to see that marketers realize that they aren't yet taking full advantage of available tools and that there are options to learn more and build new programs.

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