5 Lousy C-suite Fixes for Digital Marketers

Aung San Suu Kyi spent 15 years under house arrest in Burma and says, “The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear." Fear of rapid change may be behind digital marketing reluctance, according to the Epsilon research.

It seems as though the subject line should read “Fear Is a Prison,” but Irving, Texas-based marketing services firm Epsilon leads with “Only 44% of Organizations Feel Their C-Suite ‘Gets’ Digital.” The consequence of the key takeaway from the Aug. 25 release of Epsilon and Econsultancy survey results is those companies aren’t “developing effective strategies to address” the digital marketplace.
Four percent of the “Global 1,000” companies aren’t even joining in the New Media Age, according to the research titled “Leading a Digital Marketing Evolution.” A full 96 percent describe the pressure of transforming as a time of chaos, with 20 percent of businesses leading the transformation, more than 40 percent are “mainstream” and learning as they go and 36 percent of organizations are “followers” who are “lacking agreement and alignment about how to proceed.”

This is according to more than 400 consumer marketing executives surveyed at companies with more than $1.5 billion in annual revenues, Epsilon says.

The Epsilon and Econsultancy research provides tips for marketers:

1. Tell the C-suite the Organization Needs Transformation and Evolution, in Balance. Most of the time, change is slow. Sometimes, it’s fast. Leading companies know how to adjust to both. The secret is being customer-centric and paying attention to what the market asks for and needs.

2. Measure the Impact of Customer-centricity on Revenue. That makes it easier to justify investment in digital technology and marketing to the C-suite.

3. Know the Power of ‘No.’ Rather than adopting every new trend or technology, have a companywide strategy in place that everyone from the CMO to junior staff can consult when making a decision.

4. Build From the Inside. Teach existing staff digital skills.

5. Realize Technology Sets Leaders Free. Technology is a tool to complement existing capabilities and to allow companies to create new ones. It’s not an end in itself. “While nearly 40 percent of ‘leaders’ say that their ‘marketing technology enables everything we do,’ that’s true for only 6 percent of the ‘mainstream’ and a bare 1 percent of [the] ‘follower’ organizations,” the research reads.

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

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  • Thomas (Tom) Smith, III

    @Heather The C-suite just needs to learn a few facts about mobile:

    – 91% of people in the U.S. have a cell phone.
    – 61% have a smart phone.
    – Mobile coupons redeem at 10x the rate of print.
    – 57% of users will not recommend a company without a mobile friendly site.
    – 90% of mobile searches lead to purchases 50% of the time.

    While c-level executives are living on laptops, their consumers are on mobile devices.