SOURCE: CMO Council

March 01, 2005 07:00 ET

Technology Is Transforming Promotional Marketing but Significant Knowledge Gap Remains, CMO Council/PMA Survey Reveals

Nearly All Respondents Report Significant Impact of Technology on Promotional Marketing, yet Confess Difficulty in Applying New Technologies to Promotional Marketing Campaigns

PALO ALTO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 1, 2005 --Despite heavy use of the Internet and e-mail, promotional marketing executives still lag in building on the potential of digital technologies, and lack of knowledge about what's possible is one major reason. That's the consensus according to a new online survey conducted by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council and the Promotion Marketing Association, Inc. (PMA).

Entitled Digital Directions: How Technology is Touching & Transforming Promotions, the study finds that even though almost all respondents believe technology is significantly impacting promotional marketing practices, less than half have a good understanding of digital marketing practices. Moving forward, respondents say they also need to overcome a host of problems before gaining greater traction, from e-mail SPAM and fears of lost privacy to fraud and communications overload. And despite the importance they attribute to digital technologies, fully 55 percent of the respondents say they don't have a dedicated resource in their company to track and implement new technologies.

In cold numbers, the Digital Directions survey finds that 99 percent of the respondents say technology is impacting the promotional marketing industry, and 80 percent believe technology is improving or impacting their own business processes or campaigns. In other words, nearly a fifth of all respondents are aware of how technology is affecting their entire industry, but acknowledge their own company is behind the curve. And most importantly, only 43 percent say they have a very good understanding of digital marketing.

The study is based on a survey conducted in the second half of 2004 of nearly 260 marketers from a variety of industry sectors, including consumer packaged goods, entertainment, financial services and IT. The study was fielded by the CMO Council, whose members include more than 1,200 top marketing decision makers at high-technology companies, in association with the PMA, the world's leading non-profit promotion marketing trade association.

"Promotion succeeds because of its ability to interact with a consumer in a very real and measurable way," said Claire Rosenzweig, CAE, president, PMA. "Interactive marketing is a natural extension of a marketer's ability to have a real dialogue with their customers, in a way that traditional advertising doesn't allow. Recognition of this is only the first step, however. The survey clearly shows that marketers must seize the opportunity to increase their knowledge about the tools available to capitalize on them to their fullest extent."

Also among the survey findings:

--  The Internet is by far the most popular type of digital media being
    used today. Nearly all respondents (98.4 percent) said they utilized web
    sites, 92 percent use e-mail campaigns and nearly 70 percent run some form
    of online advertising.
    
--  The majority of respondents (73 percent) feel that technology enables
    better communication and integration of online and offline efforts. Greater
    customer intimacy, via the Internet's real-time interactions with
    customers, is also cited as a significant benefit.
    
--  College students, teenagers and males 18-34 are identified by
    respondents as ripe targets for digital promotional campaigns.
    
"While individual marketers can't be expected to keep pace with every innovation in technology, they need people who can -- professionals who can help decide which tools to use in their promotional campaigns," said Scott Van Camp, editorial director of the CMO Council and author of the report. "They say they understand how important technology is but are not doing enough about it. That's an environment that clearly leads to huge missed opportunities."

The full report is available online at www.cmocouncil.com.

About the CMO Council

The CMO Council is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to high-level knowledge exchange, thought leadership and personal relationship building among senior marketing and brand decision-makers in the global technology industry. Based in Silicon Valley, the Council works to further the stature, credibility, influence, and understanding of the strategic marketing function among business executives, opinion leaders and critical stakeholders in the technology sector. Nearly 1,200 technology companies are currently represented on the CMO Council, accounting for well over $500 billion in aggregated annual revenues. These include top decision-makers controlling more than $45 billion in global marketing expenditures for many of the world's foremost computer systems, software, networking, communications, consumer electronics, component, distribution, and consulting brands. For more information, please visit our web site at www.cmocouncil.org.

The CMO Council is represented through regional chapters which convene in technology centers worldwide under the auspices and administration of GlobalFluency, the Independent Network of Influence. Spearheaded by Silicon Valley-based Neale-May & Partners‚ GlobalFluency consists of 91 offices employing over 560 professionals in 65 countries. Together‚ these organizations represent more than $51 million in billings from scores of clients across the information technology‚ communications‚ systems integration and Internet service sectors. More information is available at www.globalfluency.com.

About the Promotion Marketing Association

Established in 1911, the Promotion Marketing Association, Inc. (PMA) is the premier not-for-profit organization and resource for research, education and collaboration for marketing professionals. Representing the $400+ billion promotion marketing industry, the organization is comprised of a majority of Fortune 500 companies, top marketing agencies, law firms, retailers, service suppliers and academia, representing tens of thousands of brands worldwide. Championing the highest standards of excellence and recognition in the promotion and integrated marketing industry globally, PMA's objective is to foster a better understanding of promotion and integrated marketing and its role in the overall marketing process. The PMA is headquartered in New York City. www.pmalink.org

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