90% of CMOs surveyed at leading companies will have marketing automation tools by the end of 2021: report

  • Dun & Bradstreet’s white paper is based on a survey covering responses from over 250 leading organizations in major cities across India.
  • The cities included are Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Delhi NCR, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai.

Dun & Bradstreet today released a survey on “How CMOs Engage With Clients Through Technology Solutions.” The survey conducted during the last quarter of 2020 covers responses from 250 chief marketing officers (CMOs) representing companies with over INR 5 billion in revenue across eight industries and six major cities in India.

The survey found that readiness for marketing automation tools among CMOs is very high, as 90% of CMOs will have marketing automation tools by the end of 2021. Currently, adoption is highest among BFSI CMOs (70%), followed by IT/ITES (67%) and Retail (64%).

The survey shows how the importance of digital channels and real-time data for connecting with customers and gaining customer insights has dramatically increased since the pandemic. According to the survey, approximately 77% of CMOs agreed that there has been an increase in digital engagement and one in five companies generate 30-40% of their sales through the digital medium.

Avinash Gupta, Managing Director and CEO – India, Dun & Bradstreet, said, “As the pandemic continues to reshape our world, CMOs have a more prominent role today with an increasing number of customers demanding digital experiences. Rapidly changing market dynamics and customer preferences have led 90% of CMOs to leverage Data analysis to better interact with customers, gather critical customer information and effectively manage their customer data.

Effective database management through intelligent solutions has become a priority for CMOs to interpret and improve data quality to reach the most qualified prospects. According to the survey, CMOs believe the top three areas where data management would benefit them are creating targeted communication (34%), personalizing communication through customer segmentation (30% ) and getting real-time customer feedback (29%).”

Dr Arun Singh, Global Chief Economist, Dun & Bradstreet, said: “As the business landscape has changed dramatically in the pandemic era, CMOs are spending on digital marketing strategies and deploying smart solutions to leverage usable information from the data obtained thanks to digital technology. platforms. It has become a priority for CMOs today to access up-to-date, relevant and actionable data to help their sales teams reach qualified prospects. We observed that one in three companies allocated more than Rs 100 million to marketing activities. Interestingly, three out of four CMOs surveyed currently use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) tools to manage their database so they can automate processes and improve their decision-making and interaction. with customers.

AI and ML-based automation solutions in marketing and sales will proliferate globally in the coming years. Our survey revealed that readiness for marketing automation is high among CMOs of major Indian companies; 90% of surveyed CMOs will have marketing automation tools by the end of 2021 and leveraging these tools will help them improve sales productivity and gain competitiveness.”

Main results of the survey


Allocation of marketing spend to top marketing initiatives

·One in five companies surveyed spend more than 20% of their turnover on marketing activities. In terms of value, one in three companies surveyed allocates more than Rs 100 million for the same

On a sectoral basis, the survey revealed that nearly nine out of ten companies in the automotive sector and four out of five companies in the retail and IT/IT sector allocate more than Rs 100 million to marketing activities

·In terms of sectors, the retail and automotive sectors allocate a higher share of turnover to marketing activities; 76% of companies in the distribution sector and 53% of companies in the automotive sector devote more than 20% of their turnover to marketing activities

The survey revealed that offline and online advertising (60%), social media advertising (47%) and data analysis (37%) are the three most popular activities carried out by CMOs .

Targeting customers through digital platforms

Over 70% of CMOs use business intelligence platforms to connect with customers and are willing to explore more options

·Sales acceleration tools are used by over 60% of companies in the BFSI and telecom industries and by over 50% of companies in the IT/ITeS, real estate and retail industries to update sales information. companies and contacts

·73% of CMOs use CRM tools. The most used tools are Salesforce (26%) followed by Microsoft Dynamics (16%) and Zoho (12%)

Database management, customer information and automation

Use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) tools for database management is high, with three out of four CMOs surveyed currently using such tools

AL and ML tools are used by CMOs to Data Security (42%), to improve decision-making (32%), for process automation (30%), to improve customer interaction (25%) and to Data mining (25%)

·Google Analytics was the most popular tool used for customer segmentation as nearly 70% of CMOs revealed they use it, followed by SAP Analytics Cloud (29%) and Segment (19%).

Over 90% of surveyed CMOs currently use data analytics for customer segmentation

59% of CMOs have already adopted marketing automation tools. While 20% of CMOs said they are in the process, an additional 11% will adopt automation tools by the end of 2021