I received an email this morning from the CMO Council on its "Marketing Outlook for 2011." While the research study made more sense to report in Q1, it's worthwhile to use as a check-up as we edge into August 2011.
The Study reports that marketing budgets are on the rise, with 26% reporting an increase of 1 to 5% over last year. As law firm marketers begin their 2012 budget planning, this is good information to have in your back pocket. (Note that this was a study of 750+ members of the CMO Council, not law firms. Participants were drawn from each major region of the world and were representative of most vertical industry sectors and company sizes. The Council website includes a PDF with more information.)
So, marketers, how are you doing with your 2011 strategic marketing goals? You have five short months left in 2011 to make measureable progress.
The survey found that the key senior management mandate to marketers is to drive top-line growth (46% of the respondents) and market share (45%) while better defining the brand and value proposition (31%). Law firm executive committees want the same thing.
Other senior management mandates were:
- Improve customer insight and retention (25% of the responses)
- Lower costs and improve efficiencies (22%)
- Maintain high quality sales pipeline (20%)
- Access new markets and audiences (17%)
- Increase accountability and measurement (15)
I am surprised that increasing accountability and measurement came in at a paltry 15%. This would be higher on the list of most law firm leaders I know.
The study also discusses the importance of "redefining the customer experience." A large part of this is creating websites that are more engaging, personalized and differentiated. This is where the ..."art of marketing and the science of analytics, measurement and process" can be married. "Marketers need to better understand the impact marketing and technology integration can have in making customer experiences more gratifying and satisfying, thereby improving loyalty, retention and repeat purchase."
Another paragraph is worth including in its entirety:
"Marketing admits they lack high levels of competency in extracting valuable insight and predictive analytics from the mass of customer data that continues to multiply inside and outside their enterprises. Yet, as we continue to engage with customers in instant, online social channels, gathering data from every impression, every search, every transaction, status update, or tweet can develop a more complete profile or the customer and must be integrated with off line data sources. Marketing has the opportunity to leverage this rich data repository to more fully understand, target, and serve customers in ways that improve response, drive repeat purchase, up-sell and cross-sell products, and inspire loyalty and attachment. Marketers must respond to the paradigm shift from BtoC to CtoB with reviews and reassessments of their marketing mix and allocation of spend. This includes greater use of localized marketing tools, adaptive merchandising systems, interactive self-serve technologies, mass-personalized messaging solutions, social media channels, mobile relationship marketing platforms, and corporate social responsibility programs (e.g. sustainability)."
Revisit your goals for 2011 - make sure they are achievable and relevant as you work toward the end of this calendar year. And consider using this list as your starting point for 2012.