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IBM Releases 'State of Marketing' Report
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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IBM released its State of Marketing 2012 report this week, and it tackles a series of beliefs and issues that the industry needs to focus on in order to perform better in the next coming years. It was solid advice, and the majority of it focused on marketers and advertisers getting back to basics and getting back to being well rounded instead of focusing all efforts on "proven" segments.

For example, in the section "expand its role to lead customer experience," the report indicated that marketers have to expand their scope on the 4 Ps. Yes, the principles of marketing that we learned (for those of us who knew our future was in advertising) in high school or the first class in college. In turns out that leaders of marketing organizations and departments have been scaling back on all Ps and have been focused on promotion rather than spread effort around the rest of them. How can a marketing team be efficient without significant control over the other Ps? That's an elementary lesson, but it's great that IBM's survey started at a foundational level to look for solutions for the marketing industry.

The report then moves on to software integration, and it harps on the lack of integration and use of emerging platforms like mobile and social (if we can still call them "emerging"). From its 2011 CMO report, IBM found that 41% of marketing leaders found it difficult to keep up with the growth of channels and choices of activities. That is certainly not a small number. Also, a limited amount of higher-performing companies are even in the social realm, with 66% having pages on social networks, and 51% having blogs. Not mention that only 46% have mobile versions of their websites.

Lastly, the report suggests the coordination and alignment between IT and marketing departments. As marketing grows to leverage more software and technology, the role IT plays in campaigns and marketing activities becomes essential. Though historically IT and marketing have usually stayed away from each other (no bad blood, just different priorities), now it is becoming apparent that at least the higher levels of the teams have to be on the same page. IT needs to know what marketing needs in order to be successful. Marketing needs to be able to interpret what it is looking for in an information environment so IT can build it effectively.

Overall, it is a pretty solid piece of advice for marketers and advertisers. Getting back to basics and making sure your advertising is covering the 4 Ps is a great piece of advice. Also, leveraging marketing in order to get influence in other decisions around the company will make campaigns more successful as well. AdLand needs to make strategy a higher priority than the campaign. Kudos to IBM for putting this together.

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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