The Economist's worldwide survey also showed the extent to which technology is being used to engage customers in an ongoing conversation that builds advocacy and trust around a brand. Two-thirds of A/NZ marketers said they already use technology in this way, compared to 58 percent in the rest of the world, with a further 18 percent expecting to over the next three to five years.
"Technology has created so many valuable touchpoints that businesses can have with their customer and yet so many companies miss out on these opportunities," Ross commented. "It's really powerful the way customers with social media and word-of-mouth can now quickly amplify that missed opportunity, so it is important companies really do not miss out.
"Marketing spend is $1 trillion globally and a lot of that is spend on technology. But it's not that surprising because as marketers you are investing in your future."
CEOs don't mind spending big on marketers, as long as you are accountable, Ross said, and recognise that the investment really works.
"They know it can really drive a company, because it has been shown companies with advanced revenue and marketing capabilities are 30 percent greater than average," he said.
CEOs also recognise investing in marketing is a key foundation for growth, Ross claimed, as you get a greater return on your investment than traditional investment in capital or factory equipment.
"A lot of the research points to the fat that investing in marketing, if you get it right, can provide real value and real growth," he said.
But A/NZ marketers perhaps need to up their game on accountability, Ross said. "Only 17 percent of local respondents said revenue impact was a primary marketing metric, compared to 27 percent in the rest of the world," he said. "A/NZ marketers will only increase their impact on a company's approach if they accept revenue responsibility."
Ross claimed many companies still don't know how to restructure their organisation to really leverage their customer data insights.
"Like all new technologies, the challenge is finding how to best leverage it to gain better information and use it to better the company," he said. "It's not that straightforward."
Source: CMO Australia
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