Really?!? “Not all CMOs going digital.” CMOs, it’s time to get with it!

When I saw this headline in AdWeekNot all CMOs Going Digital, I was floored. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. According to research from the @CMO_Council:

  • 78 percent of CMOs agreed that “digital channels are important to their organization”
  • Just 38 percent “believed their organization was prepared to exploit the opportunities presented by digital marketing channels”
  • Only 35 percent said they’re “heavily committed and invested” in interactive digital marketing strategies

Let’s look at some telling consumer data from Nielsen:

  • 286 million Americans watch TV at home and almost half (135 million) time-shift their viewing
  • 191 million Americans use the Internet from a PC
  • 157 billion impressions were served by Yahoo in 2Q2010 alone

Facebook now has over 500 million users. Smart phone use is growing dramatically. Twitter, Foursquare and Yelp are adding users at an increasing rate. What is the data telling us? TV is not dead and still deserves focus. But the digital alternatives are no longer minor players to be considered as afterthoughts in the marketing planning and resource allocation process. It is a travesty that over 60% of CMOs are not organizationally prepared to exploit interactive digital strategies.

It is time for CMOs to have integrated digital marketing strategies that command their attention the way that TV advertising plans do. The digital plans should be shared with the C-suite the same way new TV commercials are shared. The successful CMOs of the future will not only embrace digital but will be vocal champions within their companies.

We’ve developed some frameworks that BtoC and BtoB marketers may find useful in their digital marketing planning. So we know that the tools exist. My question to CMOs is this: What is holding you back?