Gabey Goh
Nov 25, 2016

Challenging times ahead for CMOs: Oracle survey

Marketers need more support as they transition from marketing and campaign management, to an era of customer experience, according to an Oracle survey.

Challenging times ahead for CMOs: Oracle survey

SINGAPORE – The more senior an executive, the more likely they are to believe that marketing’s KPIs are based on revenues, according to a new survey by Oracle Marketing Cloud.

The company’s CMO of Tomorrow report draws on a survey of over 450 senior executives across Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and India. It looks at how respondents are meeting current challenges, what impediments they face in accelerating their digital marketing efforts, and how their investments are likely to change in the year ahead.

Joshua Koh, Asean GM at Oracle Marketing Cloud, said it is good to see the region acknowledging the importance of the role of a CMO.

“But in the same breath, it does mean that he or she has a larger role to play in driving the performance of companies, and they need to get it right,” he said.

Koh said that while marketers are generally embracing of new technology for their digital marketing efforts, CMOs need to make sure the brand and team understand and remember that customer-centric KPIs should be the key indicators of success.

“With the ever-rising expectations of customers, one bad customer experience can spiral and change a company’s bottom-line instantly,” he added.

Market highlights


  • While executives highly rate email marketing, content marketing, analytics and CRM as disciplines their organisations were proficient in, Singapore was weak on mobility compared to other locations, particularly in mobile apps and SMS.
  • Unlike other parts of APAC, there were clear expectations around revenue accountability beyond digital marketing campaign metrics.
  • Analytics is a sweet spot for the island state’s managers, with 70 percent describing their organisations as excellent or good at gaining insights from analytics, and almost three quarters of executives (72 percent) indicated that they were excited by or enjoyed working with analytics.
  • Singapore is the only market not to cite budget as the biggest impediment to accelerate digital marketing. Instead, it was a lack of understanding and education around the subject of digital marketing amongst marketers in Singapore.
  • For the next 12 months, social media, predictive analytics and personalisation will be the leading priorities, with email marketing and web analytics also rating highly.


  • Australian executives rate their analytics capabilities highly. A clear majority (84 percent) reported that their organisations are either excellent or good, and 82 percent indicated that they are excited or enjoy working with analytics
  • 62 percent of respondents said they have a specific revenue requirement in their KPIs, and most have a revenue quota they are required to hit.
  • Overall digital marketing capabilities: Few executives were willing to describe their levels of sophistication around people, processes and technology as excellent. Most took a middle-of-the-road view of their current performance (39 percent). 34 percent of them considered themselves as laggards.
  • Marketing and ad technology integration: Over half (55 percent) of Australian executives said it is at least somewhat integrated, against 37 percent who said there is little or no integration at all and that most tools don’t connect or share data.
  • Looking forward: Top priorities for next 12 months: Marketing automation, 72 percent; email marketing, 71 percent; campaign management, 68 percent.
  • Australian brands tend to manage their ad technology themselves or work with an agency. The outsourced model is the least popular in Australia, and the level of fully outsourced service is the lowest in the region.


  • Executives were very confident about their ability to work with data, with more than three quarters (78 percent) suggesting that this was something they were very good or excellent at. Almost 80 percent of Indian respondents said they were excited or enjoyed working in analytics.
  • 67.5 percent said revenue was a clear KPI—and the majority of that group said the revenue targets were not only measured but that marketing has a specific revenue quota to hit.
  • The majority of respondents believe their organisations are already sophisticated users of digital technology, with more than 80 percent rating their performance as average or above. However, it is worth noting that less than 10 percent described themselves as very advanced.
  • Ad tech and marketing technology were more likely to be integrated in Indian companies, although there was less middle ground. Just under half (43 percent) said there was little or no integration.
  • Looking forward: Social media, campaign management and web analytics all placed highly on the priorities for the next 12 months.
  • India was the only geography where mobility was rated highly as a strength and not the major weakness. Indian companies are much more likely to manage their digital advertising internally. Indeed, more organisations reported managing it internally than those using a hybrid or fully outsourced model combined.

New Zealand

  • Almost three quarters rated their efforts as good or excellent, and most reported high levels of comfort around analytics.
  • New Zealand’s marketers placed less stock on revenue as a goal. Indeed, more than a third said they had no accountability around revenue.
  • None of the respondents were willing to rate themselves as excellent—and only slightly more than a third were willing to describe themselves as advanced. In fact, 67 percent said they were either average or worse than their peers.
  • 67 percent said they were confused about the level of integration of ad tech and marketing technology, or that they only had responsibility for marketing technology.
  • New Zealand’s marketers prefer to manage digital advertising either by themselves or in partnership with an agency. Only 21 percent outsourced their digital advertising entirely.

The CMO of Tomorrow survey was conducted by Association for Data-Driven Marketing and Advertising, the Direct Marketing Associations in India, Singapore and New Zealand, and Oracle Marketing Cloud. Analysis was provided by the Which-50 Digital Intelligence Unit and the report was compiled and produced by Which-50 Engage.

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