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Key Findings ... Making the Case for the Cmo

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• Two-thirds of respondents report that their chief marketing executive reports to the CEO, but only 23 percent report that the highest-level marketing executive is the chief marketing officer (CMO).

• The number of respondents reporting that the VP of stores owns the customer experience has declined significantly — from 18 percent in 2011 to 9 percent in 2012. And both the CMO (or equivalent) and the CEO have benefited from that decline; respondents reporting that the CEO “owns” the customer experience increased by more than five points.

• Building the brand and driving sales are the top two areas where retailers report their marketing departments are spending their time. They report spending the least amount of time on engaging customers, building customer loyalty and communicating offers.

• Mobile represents the greatest future opportunity as a source of customer demographic insights.

• The greatest inhibitor for over-performing retailers — companies with comp store/channel sales growth above 5 percent — is that the merchandising organization hasn’t bought into the notion of focusing more on a customer-centric, rather than product-centric, brand value.

• One-third more over-performers — 55 percent, compared with 42 percent overall — agree that tasking an executive with specific responsibility for the overall customer experience is the best way to overcome internal challenges and inhibitors.

• Survey respondents place almost twice as much value on customer purchase analytics as on any other available analytics — including market basket. This more than anything demonstrates that it’s not about the products you sell, it’s about the customers who buy.

Source: Retail Systems Research, Marketing in Retail: Making the Case for the CMO, Benchmark Report – September 2012