New CMO Council Report Reveals Marketers Plan to Focus on Online-Offline Connected Experiences in 2017

SAN JOSE, Calif. (Dec. 8, 2016)—A new study from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council reports that marketers are struggling to deliver on the big promise of true omni-channel alignment across both digital and physical worlds. According to the research, one of the biggest challenges for marketers in 2017 will be understanding the connected customer journey across all touchpoints and how best to interact on a more personal, content-rich level.  

While digital engagement continues to grow and dominate the customer experience, 38 percent of marketers surveyed feel that digital strategies have delivered mixed results to date. This is especially the case when it comes to bridging the physical and digital customer experiences—49 percent of marketers stated that alignment between physical and digital is selective, at best, with some ties between the two being made while many remain totally disconnected.

Released today, the new report—titled “Connected Interaction to Power Brand Attraction”— explores the many ways digital transformation has impacted marketing and the organization’s ability to grow and profit from expanded relationships with customers.

Looking ahead into 2017, marketers plan to dedicate their efforts to resolving many of these disconnects. According to the study:

  • 42 percent of respondents plan to better integrate campaigns into a comprehensive, connected customer experience

  • 37 percent of respondents will address connecting physical and digital experiences

  • 29 percent of marketers intend to invest in more technologies to manage data, as well as the talent needed to oversee and optimize the new marketing technology stack.

“Savvy CMOs don't see digital as a destination for transformation but instead see the digital experience as a constantly moving evolution for both engagements and operations,” noted Liz Miller, Senior Vice President of Marketing for the CMO Council. “The year ahead will represent a real turning point in the customer experience as marketers plan to turn their sights toward connecting, streamlining and measuring the entire journey.”

As CMOs focus on digital transformation, both content and data strategy are two areas that are changing how their organizations engage with customers and prospects the most. According to the study:

  • 60 percent of marketers believe digital has altered content strategy and heightened the need for more types of content.

  • 44 percent of respondents state that digital has heightened the need for aggregated data that is pulled from across the company

  • 4 percent report that digital transformation is revealing cracks in their systems as data continues to be difficult to aggregate and centralize for a clear view of the customer

The report, from the CMO Council and IBM, is currently available for download at The report is based on findings from an online survey of 198 senior global marketing executives fielded in the second half of 2016. Some 38 percent of respondents have titles of CMO, senior vice president of marketing or head of marketing, and 24 percent hail from brands with revenues of more than $1 billion annually.

About the CMO Council
The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council is the only global network of executives specifically dedicated to high-level knowledge exchange, thought leadership and personal relationship building among senior corporate marketing leaders and brand decision-makers across a wide range of global industries. The CMO Council's 10,500-plus members control approximately $500 billion in aggregated annual marketing expenditures and run complex, distributed marketing and sales operations worldwide. In total, the CMO Council and its strategic interest communities include more than 65,000 global executives in more than 110 countries covering multiple industries, segments and markets. Regional chapters and advisory boards are active in the Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East, India and Africa. The council's strategic interest groups include the Coalition to Leverage and Optimize Sales Effectiveness (CLOSE), Mobile Relationship Marketing (MRM) Strategies,,, Marketing Supply Chain Institute, Customer Experience Board, Digital Marketing Performance Institute, GeoBranding Center and the Forum to Advance the Mobile Experience (FAME). More information on the CMO Council is available at