According to a new study from IBM, high-performing chief marketing officers (CMOs) are excelling in their role by bringing together external and internal data to generate insights and leads within their company.

The report is based on findings from face-to-face conversations with more than 500 CMOs from across the globe. It found that 84 per cent anticipated advanced analytics playing a major role within their sector over the coming years, helping them reach their goals.

Worryingly, however, there appears to be a widespread consensus that organisations are not yet ready to take advantage of the so-called data explosion.

Some 82 per cent of respondents expressed this concern, compared to 71 per cent three years before. 

"After speaking with CMOs around the world, it became evident that more companies across all industries are striving to integrate their physical and digital presence in order to provide a more integrated, seamless customer experience," said John Kennedy, marketing vice-president of IBM's Global Business Services division.

The survey identified three 'types' of CMOs – traditionalists, social strategists and digital pacesetters. As well as being more likely to adopt CRM technology and integrate their data, the latter grouping proved to be more financially efficient than their counterparts.

Another aspect of the report suggested that marketing chiefs are becoming central parts of their organisation, with 63 per cent involved in formulating their company's overall business strategy. 

IBM declared that this is making it more important for marketing experts to engage with data and analytics and convey that information to the rest of the C-suite.

The study also found that when a CMO has a close working relationship with the chief information officer, the enterprise is more likely to perform better overall.

Utilising CRM technology can make it easier for businesses to form these kind of connections, because it allows firms to make their analytic data available to everyone rather than simply to a handful of experts.