Marketing in Retail: Making the Case for the CMO

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The retail marketing leader currently seems halfway through a transition — reporting in the right place, but without the span of control or influence that will help that leader succeed as retail enterprises transform themselves into customer-centric organizations. And that serves as the primary theme we found in our 2012 benchmark on the state of marketing in the retail enterprise: The intent to embrace customer centricity continues, as strong as ever. But thereality is still far from the ideal.

Selected Findings Include:

  • Two-thirds of respondents to this study report that their chief marketing executive reports to the CEO, but only 23% of respondents report that the highest-level marketing executive is the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).
  • The percent of respondents reporting that the VP of Stores owns the customer has declined significantly — from 18% in 2011 to 11% in 2012. And both the CMO (or equivalent) and the CEO have benefited from that decline — the percent of respondents reporting that the CEO owns the customer increased by more than 50%, and for the CMO, nearly as much.
  • Almost one-half of Winners and 40% of less-performing retailers say that measuring effectiveness is a top internal challenge to implementing a marketing strategy.
  • The top 3 technologies reported by survey respondents were customer purchase analytics, CRM, and marketing operations planning. With these three solutions, any retailer theoretically has the ground floor to a more sophisticated marketing organization — the ability to understand customer behavior, target and influence that behavior, and coordinate that targetingacross both channels and organizations internally.

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