Are CMOs in denial of the new normal? The IBM CMO Study

The IBM CMO Study

Last week, I wrote about Dan Zarrella’s book ‘Zarrella’s Hierarchy of Contagiousness‘. The author declares that many marketing professionals often follow fluffy ‘guesswork’ when it comes to social media. The book implies that the marketing profession is struggling with social media. Is that really so? Are professionals maybe in denial of the new normal? Good questions. It seems like many of them might be scrambling, indeed. At least that is the finding of the 2011 IBM CMO study. IBM conducted interviews with 1734 different Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) from 64 countries. The results are very interesting and I highly encourage you to download and read the study. But let’s focus on the social media aspect today.


The IBM CMO Study shows that CMOs share a feeling of unpreparedness. Take a look at the following chart:

2011 IBM CMO Study
CMOs are unprepared. Data provided by the 2011 IBM CMO Study

Interesting! Social media ranks second. However, many of the other factors are related issues (customer collaboration & influence, for example)