Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

The majority of CMOs don’t see their digital transformation as being completed

A little over one-tenth of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) are confident that they have completed their digital transformation journey, according to a study from MediaSense, in partnership with ISBA.

The ‘Media 2025’ study surveyed over 100 global marketers and found that just 11% of them see their digital transformations as being completed. Nonetheless, 82% of brands are planning to transform, or in the process of transforming, their internal media operating model, with 76% doing the same for their external agency model.

“The level of transformation occurring in the industry is a promising sign for the future of our industry, as brands and agencies seek to better equip their organisations to become more agile, integrated and consumer centric,” said Ryan Kangisser, Managing Partner, Strategy at MediaSense.  “Covid has nevertheless had a profound impact through (for many) an unanticipated growth of ecommerce, which has exposed acute gaps across talent and measurement.  Now is the time for greater cross-industry collaboration and leadership to find solutions which better support this constantly evolving and converging ecosystem.”

For 55% of marketers, in-housing parts of their operations is the driving force behind their desire to transform their model. However, despite this desire to in-house more functions and talent, 56% of respondents feel there is skills shortage holding back the industry. The concern around the skills shortage has steadily risen each year since the study debuted back in 2015 – when only 27% of marketers identified a skills shortage as being an issue.

The study also identified that, as brands focus on finding a better balance between brand and performance marketing, the future of cross-media measurement is a cause for concern. 42% of marketers believe the ambition will never be realised, with 49% citing self-interest as a key limiting factor in cross-media measurement becoming a reality. Instead, it’s likely that most will shift their focus toward sustainability and measuring the environmental impact of their media, with 46% of respondents planning on paying more attention to this area.

“The Media 2025 findings, especially those on talent, support ISBA’s industry imperative to attract and retain the brightest people across the industry and to continue to develop the case for advertising as a force for good.  The report also serves as a much-needed temperature check for those looking to both reset and renew in 2022,” said Andrew Lowdon, Director of Agency Services at ISBA.

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