This IDC study is part of IDC's annual top 10 predictions series and focuses on the outlook for the chief marketing officer (CMO) job role. The theme of the study is that the CMO of the future will have to be a "master of data" — capable of collecting and analyzing the streams of data that buyers create as they travel through digital and social pathways. It is IDC's contention that, in general, this is going to be a difficult journey for many CMOs and their teams as they lack the technical resources to master these skills. As such, a CMO and CIO liaison will need to form, and hiring of technical marketers will ramp up.
According to IDC Group Vice President Rich Vancil, "The challenge for the CMO is dealing with self-educated buyers. These are the smart, resourceful, and socially connected consumers who do their own research before ever entering the formal channels of a vendor's marketing and selling apparatus. In the wake of all of their self-education is a stream of data that the CMO will have to understand. How much do these buyers know"? Where have they been in their education quest? Where are they going next? What is their sentiment about our products or services?"
"And so the CMO has to become a master of data. The ability to do so is not just a 'bet the marketing department' issue: it's a 'bet the company' issue. And for those who do not believe that, just look at the number of companies and industries already transformed by the Internet. And then multiply that rate of change by 5 times or more — and I think you are looking at the very near future."