TNS pinpoints impact of digital marketing

“The Impact of Digital on Growth Strategies: CMO Imperatives for 2012” drills down into the views of chief marketing officers (CMOs) interviewed as part of TNS Digital Life study released in November last year.

“That digital needs to be fully integrated in chief marketing officers’ modus operandi will not surprise many,” says TNS. “Indeed for most of the businesses we interviewed it already is fully integrated. However, the extent to which this integration is impacting other areas of the business is ‘newer news’.

“From marketing and PR convergence through reputation management via social media, to increased collaboration between the CMO and retail or customer service functions, for many, the changes brought about by digital marketing are now creating significant up- and downstream business impact.”

TNS’ Digital Life project aims to make the “complex marketing environment simpler to navigate, cutting through the clutter to develop precise strategies, channels and content”.

It is global study into the attitudes and behaviours of online consumers. It is based on interviews with over 72,000 people in 60 countries.

This latest report is based on one-to-one interviews with CMOs from range of international organisations, including Kellogg’s, Nissan, Xerox and Coca-Cola. The findings highlight the extent to which ‘digital’ continues to  dramatically overhaul the way business is done.

TNS says that while the themes and topics of conversation were wide-ranging, three clear imperatives will continue to impact CMOs in 2012.

1) Digital engagement and the brand idea
Expect deeper consumer engagement through renewed focus on the central brand idea.

“The focus is very much on deeper consumer engagement through ‘owned’, ‘earned’ and ‘shared’ media,” says the report. “Through renewed focus on the central brand idea in the first instance, greater efficiency is possible in digital touchpoint selection and utilisation – with touchpoints being selected according to their ability to land the idea, rather than starting with the touchpoint and asking, ‘what can we do with this?’. This is also proving successful guiding approach to social media strategy and tactics.”

2) Analytics to make data work harder
“Today, data is proving to be the bonding ingredient across the marketing mix,” says TNS. “If anything, data supply exceeds demand for the CMO. Instead their main focus is on how to make digital data streams work harder – to generate insights, improve targeting and deepen engagement.”

In practice, TNS says this can provide many opportunities to grow sales through marketing, with CMOs currently seeing clear advantages in data’s ability to provide more tailored and personalised consumer experiences.

“The CMO and CIO are increasingly working together, with the CMO now ‘shared stakeholder’ in data sources previously considered outside their usual remit.”

3) Speed of execution and organisational change
Digital is the ‘new normal’ and is increasingly emerging as broader business enabler and creating new horizontal connections across business functions.

“From this wide-ranging role of digital flows one particularly important implication – the need to execute more quickly,” says TNS.

It notes that many CMOs are now structuring their inhouse and external teams to ensure faster response times.

• Copies of “The Impact of Digital on Growth Strategies: CMO Imperatives for 2012”, are available via TNS NZ MD Jason Shoebridge.

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