7 Questions With… Christine Moorman of The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University

Christine Moorman is the Director of The CMO Survey and a senior member of the Marketing Area at The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. 

Question 1: How do you define ‘digital strategy’?

How a company acquires, retains, and grows its relationships with customers using tools and information on the web.

Question 2: What kind of mobile device(s) do you have, and what are your three favorite apps? 

iPhone and iPad. I gave up regular TV three years ago and subsist on Netflix and Amazon Prime and so I happily live on these apps. I am a big fan of This American Life and access current shows and a library of past shows through their app. Finally, I am a true Blue Devil now and so I love catching Duke games on ESPN’s streaming app.

Question 3: What do you think of the emergence of the Chief Digital Officer role?

This is an important position in any company that aspires to bring digital to the foreground of its strategy. Recent data from The CMO Survey shows a relationship between the percent of a company’s sales on the Internet and the size of its marketing budget (as a percent of revenues). The CDO will only succeed, however, if they make digital a fundamental part of the company’s strategy.

Question 4: What advice do you have for aspiring digital professionals?

Digital will be the expression of all of the firm’s marketing, operations, and strategic activities. As such, your work will be fundamentally about yoking up with these core areas of the company to turn their work into strong brands, strong customer relationships, efficient systems, and top-notch capabilities.

Question 5: What are the three most significant digital trends that will define 2015?

The spend. Results from The CMO Survey predict that digital advertising alone will grow by 14.7% in the next year while traditional advertising (off the web) will decrease by 1.1%.

The integration challenge: Companies are spending more on all things digital but they have not yet figured out how to integrate digital seamlessly with the rest of their strategies. The CMO Survey reports no progress on this problem over the last three years. Solving this integration challenge will improve the customer’s experience and the efficiency of the company so companies should really invest to get this right.

The measurement challenge: Measuring the effect of a company’s social media activities has been very difficult. In fact, as reported by The CMO Survey, only 13% of companies are able to do so using quantitative approaches. Investments in learning how to solve this should increase over the next year as companies increase their investments in social media.

Question 6: What 3 publications – of any format – do you read regularly?

Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Journal of Marketing

Question 7: Who has been the most influential person in your career development and why?

Gerald Zaltman, my advisor and mentor, now emeritus Harvard Business School, for his commitment to deeply understanding the customer and for his playful and curious approach to understanding the world. Tom Peters, writer and consultant, for his devotion and energy to helping companies love their customers.

For more information on Christine Moorman, check out The CMO Survey, follow her on Twitter (@chrismoorman), or connect with her on LinkedIn.


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