Savvy CMOs know that investment in digital marketing is one of the most important things they can do for their companies. However fewer than one in five actually think their organizations are any good at it, reports the 2012 “State of Marketing” study from the CMO Council. To remedy the problem, 60% of 550 worldwide CMOs surveyed say that they will be making agency changes to seek more innovative outside partners and half plan to hire new talent to ramp up their company’s digital operations. More than 50% of CMOs plan to increase their marketing budgets for 2013.

The survey found that CRM improvements are at the top of marketer’s to-do lists with 41% of respondents indicating they will be investing in new email solution deployments in the next 12 months. 34% of CMOs say that they will invest in website optimization solutions, followed by 33% who plan to spend on mobile app development.

The study also found that for the first time, marketers are preparing to allocate a larger slice of their budget to digital channels than to traditional. Respondents plan, on average, to spend 27% of their marketing budget on digital activities such as online advertising, social media marketing, mobile, search, and video. In contrast, only 23% of total budget is planned for TV, print, radio, and outdoor buys. “This is the first year where we’ve seen a distinct move to invest more money on digital versus traditional,” says Liz Miller, Vice President of the CMO Council. “As the consumer demands more digital engagement channels, digital is going to dominate across all investment fronts, including operational and advertising functions.” As CMOs get more serious about online marketing, hopefully more will feel confident in their company’s digital prowess by the time next year’s survey rolls out.

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