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Strategy, market research should be added to the CMO’s arsenal

NOVEMBER 9, 2011 – Chief marketing officers should pay more attention to market research and other advertising tools that can improve their business strategies, Rance Crain asserts in an article for Advertising Age.

Previously, the marketing, strategy and sales divisions were all segregated, and could sometimes end up neutralizing each other’s work simply because they fail to unite their visions.

He also notes that presentations to top decision makers – such as CEOs and sales professionals – can fall flat if they don’t include the hard numbers that analytics and market research can provide. Crain says the executives “have little patience for the soft and fuzzy yardsticks marketers use to measure their progress.”

The author also points out that companies have been slow to tightly align their marketing and sales initiatives. “The metrics that marketing people use are not in sync with how salespeople measure themselves, and sometimes it seems marketers want to abdicate their brands’ destiny to forces beyond them,” Crain says.

Don’t weigh down the sales teams with marketing jargon, he advises. The advertising arm of the company should understand that it has the same goal – sell more of the product – and should collaborate its efforts.

A study from the e-tailing group indicates that companies are taking a more calculated approach to how they distribute advertising dollars, and are working to apply data analytics to their decisions.

“With a growing need to market across channels, particularly mobile and social, retailers will need marketing solutions that allow them to not only run cross-channel campaigns, but also to leverage the wealth of data at their disposal to improve engagement through relevant marketing,” stated Lauren Freedman.

Respondents named paid search, email messaging and search engine optimization/natural search as their primary focuses for 2012, but said they would also devote some resources to using social media and blogs and employing retargeted and behavioral marketing.

The survey also indicated that many retailers are gathering vast amounts of data on their customers’ preferences and behavior, but that they don’t know how to parse through the raw numbers to gain usable insight. Within the next year, 95 percent of respondents will be using Facebook, and 90 percent will be using Twitter. Additionally, 38 percent currently use barcodes and quick response codes, and another 31 percent have plans to do so over the next 12 months.