Study: Most marketers feel unprepared to meet connected consumer needs

New CMO Council research reveals major opportunities being missed by marketers.

Eight out of 10 marketers believe they’re not prepared to meet the needs of connected customers who crave accountability, security, always-on service, and culturally relevant experiences, according to new research from the CMO Council.

According to the "Reshaping Global Engagement Operations: Optimizing the Resonance and Relevance of Localized Marketing Initiatives" report, 77 percent of marketers say they’re not achieving the full revenue potential of the new connected consumer. The study, conducted in partnership with Worldwide Partners, include insights from more than 350 marketing executives around the globe.

John Harris, president and CEO of Worldwide Partners, said in his blog post this morning that "the greatest threat to global marketing isn’t strategy; it’s the structure of marketing organizations."

More than half of marketers (57 percent) attribute their unrealized customer opportunity to the lack of localized intelligence, with 63 percent admitting significant dissatisfaction with their current localization efforts.

The vast majority - 82 percent of marketers - say their local market intelligence is just "OK," while 10 percent admit their local intelligence is actually highly deficient.

More than half of marketers surveyed say the lack localized market insight has had a negative impact on their business, and 37 percent believe the lack of local knowledge is partially to blame for stalled relationship development initiatives.

The research shows that organizational structures may be part of the reason for the intelligence gap - with all types having their own faults.. Fully centralized structures are seen as too far from the customer, while fully decentralized models are too fare from efficiency.

Hybrid models have their own drawbacks around timeliness in decision-making, but these structures tend to have the clearest strategies and goals and the best understanding of customer needs.

Additionally, only 17 percent of marketers believe their operational models are completely aligned with their agency partners. This low percentage has forced many marketers to reexamine their value of their relationships with agencies, the research states.

However, 64 percent of marketers said they expect their relationships with current agency partners to last for the next 12 to 18 months. Of those who are planning on making changes, the marketers say they expect to bring content marketing (28 percent), customer intelligence (26 percent) and demand generation (21 percent) in-house.

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