The CMO view on Digital Marketing

31 Mar,2017

 

By A Correspondent

 

Leading brands are refocussing on digital assets as the atomic unit of marketing. Digital Asset Management – Digital Assets, that are traditionally under the IT budget, today account for 30-40 per cent of the digital marketing budget. As digital continues to transform, it is forcing marketers to re-think their omnichannel approaches, personalisation led by analytics or disruption like chatbots and virtual reality – a key priority for marketers in 2017.

 

Meanwhile, Content Marketing and Distribution is the centrepiece of the Digital Marketing strategy, with the budgets on content marketing and distribution estimated to double in the next two years. Also, Social Media Marketing along with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) accounted for a lion’s share of the CMO’s ‘Always on Budget’.

 

These and many more insights were unveiled by DMAasia and Times Internet on Thursday in Mumbai in a study titled ‘Digital Marketing in India: A CMO Perspective 2016-2017’.

 

The study also yielded that 40 per cent CMOs are not satisfied with the contribution of agencies as they do not manage to deliver in conformity with their marketing goals and growth prospects. Consequently, in house marketing asset creation movement is gaining momentum and will see surge over the next few years unless agencies reinvent their models.

 

At the launch, Gulshan Verma, CRO Times Internet Limited and President of the DMAasia Insights Council said: “With this study our goal was to understand what the marketers were thinking and help them learn from their community. By speaking to over a hundred CMOs in the country, we realised that ultimately the core goals of marketing haven’t changed – reaching the consumer, engaging with them, and making them a loyal customer are still essential to all marketers. Digital will continue to be very important in the years to come to achieve these goals and what is interesting is the way marketers are approaching it. We hope this report will be useful to the marketing community.”

 

Commenting on the release of the report, Vatsal Asher, Founder and CEO DMAasia said: “The report reveals the contribution of digital platform in the overall marketing mix and shares an insightful road map for the coming years. Basis current trends & sentiments, this report aims to help businesses understand, analyse and make decisions by being an indispensable guidebook to sail through the abundant choppy marketing waters.“

 

We reproduce here the Executive Summary of the report:

Through the years what has remained consistent has been the marketer’s concern. With the evolution of technology and the tools and the increasing clutter, prioritisation and choosing the correct strategy is of paramount importance.

 

When we undertook this survey, our goal was to understand what were the digital priorities of those who make brands – the Marketing Officers. We spoke to 115 marketers, only to realise that for each of them the only priority was building their Brand and Product Portfolio.

 

Today, digital plays a critical role in every aspect of marketing – whetherit is about awareness, customer engagement, acquisition, and product development.

 

As the mobile screen became the first screen of India in 2016, it is rapidly changing the way we consume media, interact with others (including brands)and how we live our lives today.

 

Companies today, work hard to create brand awareness and an experience,seamlessly in the offline as well as the online world. Thus, the marketers’ today have two critical roles to play:

 

1. Strategic Role – Impacting the consumers in the digital medium by creating the same brand association and customer engagement in the offline andonline world. Facilitating a consumer’s journey through the life-cycle of discovery to consumption and most importantly recommendation.

 

2. Execution role – Supporting marketing initiatives done by the Brand Managers using traditional marketing and supporting business goals of generating leads/ sales.The strategic as well as executionary level roles that CMOs play today, put them under a lot of pressure. Many marketers have started allocating a large share of their budgets to spends on Digital. This is primarily due to a better measurability and the “higher Return on Investment” (ROI) vis-à-vis traditional media options. This is a double-edged sword as this is skewing spends towards performance marketing, directly compromising on brand awareness and top of the funnel initiatives.

 

As per a recent IMRB International study, the share of digital in the total marketing spend is at 12% in India. However, our discussions with the 115 top marketers in the country suggests a much higher digital share, averaging 50 –55% of the entire marketing budget. We also found that for some of the new age online retail firms, digital marketing spends were as high as 75-80%.It is critical for marketers to set their marketing and media buying goals in line with their business objectives. Each marketing dollar must be back-calculated to derive top, middle and bottom funnel objectives,factoring drop-outs at every stage. This is the first step towards measuring ROI.

 

Focusing on wrong measures can often be a challenge as marketing objectives are constantly revised alongside the business objectives. Leading brands are refocussing on digital assets as the atomic unit of marketing.Digital Asset Management – Digital Assets,that are traditionally under the IT budget,today account for 30-40% of the digital marketing budget. As digital continues to transform, it is forcing marketers tore-think their omni channel approaches,personalisation led by analytics or disruption like chat bots and virtual reality – a key priority for marketers in 2017.

 

Building on digital assets is the content that engages with the customer.Content Marketing & Distribution is the centerpiece of the Digital Marketing strategy,with the budgets on content marketing and distribution estimated to double in the next two years. The marketing mavericks we spoke to believe that content distribution will be50% of the content marketing budget.

 

Social Media Marketing along with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) accounted for a lion’s share of the CMO’s ‘Always on Budget’.

 

What was interesting to note was that Influencer Marketing and Video Virality did not live up to the expected hype in 2016. This was predominantly due to limited execution.

 

What we overwhelmingly heard was that Influencer Marketing was hijacked by Social media, while they attributed the failure of video virality to limited investment in distribution.

 

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