Are CMO’s really this stupid?

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–Search and social media were considered extremely important by most marketers. In fact, 79% of respondents ranked search as “very” or “extremely” important, while 73% thought the same about social media. A large majority also considered online video (64%) and email (59%) to be very or extremely important channels.

–Only 26% of respondents reported high confidence) in their ability to quantify digital media ROI . Only 4% of respondents were extremely confident. If you take into account the respondents’ high digital media effectiveness rankings, this suggests that marketers may believe they are generating good ROI, but are not fully convinced they are measuring it accurately.

Stupid is as stupid does. That is the best way to describe the CMO’s surveyed in the Nielsen CMO Report. At a time when social media marketing is proving to be an oxymoron and ad fraud is rampant CMO’s still feel social media is still very important.

First, let me make clear that I feel that brands need social media to LISTEN to their customers, however the days of social media as a true marketing driver are limited by the scope of products. Instagram, for example, may work to introduce a new electronic gadget, but is it really effective to advertise a new breakfast burrito?

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I can make a huge case that effective POP along with great placement at retail is going to drive more sales than social media ads.

Then there is search. Google has done a great job in communicating that brands HAVE to use paid search. That is a 100 % grade A bullshit. First consumers are smart enough to type in when looking for a brand website. Second, do you really need to go to Philadelphia’s cream cheese website to buy cream cheese?

Forrester discovered that 54% of respondents found websites through natural search results.

As far as ad fraud:

  • Marketers lost $7.2 billion to digital ad fraud in 2016 (WhiteOps, 2016)

Research estimates that digital advertisers will waste $51 million on ad fraud every single day in 2018 . That’s a massive $19 billion over the year. And while the industry has made strides to combat ad fraud, it still remains a colossal and costly issue.

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CMO’s continue to be far removed from the reality of how people are buying their products. To them any way to interrupt consumers is still the best way to sell when consumers don’t want to be sold.

Nielsen Digital

Originally published at on November 27, 2018.

Marketing contrarian with over 15 years of developing leading edge and award winning digital marketing initiatives.

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