Dun & Bradstreet, a leading global provider of B2B data, insights and AI-driven platforms, released a survey today on “How CMOs are Engaging with Customers Through Technology Solutions.” The survey conducted in the last quarter of 2020 covers responses from 250 Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) representing businesses with over INR 5 billion revenue across eight sectors and six major cities in India.
The survey revealed that the readiness for marketing automation tools amongst CMOs is very high, as 90% of CMOs will have marketing automation tools by the end of 2021. Currently, the adoption is higher amongst the CMOs in the BFSI (70%), followed by the IT/ITES (67%) and the Retail (64%) sectors.
The survey captures how the importance of digital channels and real-time data to connect with customers and gain customer insights has radically increased since the pandemic. As per the survey, around 77% of the CMOs agreed that there has been an increase in digital engagement and one in five companies generate 30-40% of their sales through the digital medium.
Avinash Gupta, Managing Director & CEO – India, Dun & Bradstreet said, “As the pandemic continues to reshape our world, the CMOs have a larger role today with growing number of customers demanding digital experiences. The rapid change in the market dynamics and customer preferences have led 90% of CMOs to leverage data analytics to better engage with customers, gather critical customer information, and effectively manage their customer data.
Effective management of databases through intelligent solutions has become a priority for CMOs to interpret and improve data quality to reach out to the most qualified prospects. According to the survey, the CMOs believe that the top three areas where data management would benefit them are creating targeted communication (34%), personalizing communication through customer segmentation (30%), and getting real-time customer feedback (29%)”.
Dr. Arun Singh, Global Chief Economist, Dun & Bradstreet said, “As the business landscape has dramatically shifted during the era of the pandemic, CMOs are spending on digital marketing strategies and deploying intelligent solutions to derive actionable insights from the data obtained through the digital platforms. It has become a priority for CMOs today to access data that is up to date, insightful and actionable to help their sales teams to reach out to the qualified prospects. We observed that one in three companies allocated more than Rs 100 million for marketing activities. Interestingly, three out of four surveyed CMOs are currently using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) tools to manage their database so that they can automate processes and improve their decision making and customer interaction.
The AI and ML based automation solutions in marketing and sales will increase manifold globally, in the following years. Our survey found that readiness of marketing automation is high amongst the CMOs of leading Indian companies; 90% of surveyed CMOs will have marketing automation tools by end of 2021 and leveraging such tools will help them to enhance sales productivity and gain competitiveness”.
Key findings from the survey
Allocation of marketing expenditure towards top marketing initiatives
- One in five surveyed companies allocate a budget of more than 20% of their sales revenue towards marketing activities. In terms of value, one in three surveyed companies allocate more than Rs 100 million for the same
- Sector-wise, the survey found close to nine in ten companies in the automobile sector and four out of five companies in the retail and IT/ITeS sector allocate more than Rs 100 million for marketing activities
- Sector-wise, retail and automobile sector allocate a higher share of sales revenue for marketing activities; 76% of companies in the retail sector and 53% of companies in the automobile sector allocate more than 20% of their sales revenue for marketing activities
- The survey revealed that Offline & Online Advertising (60%), Social Media Advertising (47%) and Data Analytics (37%) are the three most popular activities pursued by CMOs
Targeting customers through digital platforms
- More than 70% of the CMOs use sales intelligence platforms to connect with customers and are willing to explore more options
- Sales Acceleration tools are used by more than 60% of companies in the BFSI and telecom sector and by more than 50% of companies in the IT/ITeS, real estate and retail sectors to update information on companies and contacts
- 73% of CMOs use CRM tools. The most popular tools used are Salesforce (26%) followed by Microsoft Dynamics (16%) and Zoho (12%)
Database management, customer insights and automation
- Usage of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) tools for database management is high as three out of four surveyed CMOs are currently using such tools
- AL and ML tools are used by the CMOs for Data Security (42%), to Improve Decision Making (32%), for Process Automation (30%), to Improve Customer Interaction (25%) and for Data Mining (25%)
- Google Analytics was the most popular tool used for customer segmentation as close to 70% CMOs revealed using it, followed by SAP Analytics Cloud (29%) and Segment (19%)
- More than 90% of surveyed CMOs currently use data analytics for customer segmentation
- 59% of CMOs have already adopted marketing automation tools. While 20% of CMOs stated that they are under the process, another 11% will adopt the automation tools by end of 2021