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26/05/2008 by

US & UK CMO’s Avoid Website Responsibility!

Warning: this item contains shocking material and evidence about Chief Marketing Officers in the US, UK and Netherlands, when it comes to taking website responsibility. Skip or zap this item if you can’t handle this ignorant behavior.

Once per quarter I get tremendously confused, furious and frustrated. Reason for my anger is the published study, done by Coleman Research for SDL Tridion.

From the study I learnt that over 75% of the senior marketing managers is not involved in the management of companies’ websites. Senior marketers leave large part of web communications to junior marketers and IT departments.

In April 2008, CMS software company SDL Tridion interviewed 100 senior marketing managers and 100 senior IT-managers in the US and the UK. The outcome of this study I find really horrifying.

The study shows that 88% of the senior marketing managers in the US is not involved at all, at the
management of the companies’ websites. In the UK 67% of the senior marketers evade this responsibility.

Web communications at companies with over 500 employees in the US and UK is being done by junior marketing employees en IT departments.

The study also learns that IT professionals and marketers, don’t have a clue, how many of the companies’ employees are working at the corporate website. Also for most of this IT professionals and marketers it’s totally unclear whom in their company is the end responsible person for the website.

My question is:”how can you ever create an accountability culture in any company, if it’s not even clear who is actually responsible?”

In The Netherlands the situation is not very different from the one in the UK and US, we learn from a small round of questions amongst Dutch IT companies and marketers. Dutch marketers also point out that also customer service, designers and the HR and Finance departments are involved in the website management. But mostly the end responsibility is at IT or Comms department.

My question is: Why are so many senior marketers too busy with creating another set of overpromising TV commercials, and do they take no responsibility for their website?”

Another question that pops my mind:”Why don’t so many senior marketers understand that brand promises made in TV Spots should also be the full brand experience at their websites”.

Last but not least, the study shows for whom the companies’ websites are meant:
In the US and UK marketing and IT agree that the website should mainly focus at existing and potential customers. US marketers do slightly focus more at acquiring new customer (90%) compared to existing customers (76%).

Another of my questions:”Do senior marketers understand that 76% of their customers in these markets (US, UK, NL) make the first contact with a brand through the companies’ website?”

Are marketers playing the busy card when it comes to their website? Are they too busy in other projects, like managing the new TV commercials? Do marketers understand 76% of the people in above mentioned markets decide online, at what company they will buy their products or services?

How many marketers do have a website strategy actually?

Short poll amongst our audience:
A. Should we put this generation senior marketers behind bars since they are a threat to modern society?

B. Should we put these senior marketers in the museum of history and wait for the new generation marketers with a digital DNA?

C. Should we put these senior marketers in Tanzania’s NgoroNgoro Conservation Area and put a high fence around it?

D. Should we start protesting and rioting?

E. Should we pull the plug from the Internet?

Please type your answer or remark below!

Source: Dutch Tijdschrift voor marketing.


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