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Get Inside Your CMO’s Head on Budgets, Growth, Social Media and ROI

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findings from The CMO Survey

If you are interested in a CMO’s point-of-view (like we are), be sure to check out The CMO Survey, released in February 2019 by Deloitte and other sponsors in partnership with the American Marketing Association. Below, we’ve selectively distilled results from the survey, which is based on responses by 2,556 top marketers at for-profit U.S. companies.

Understanding the CMO mindset may be helpful to getting in sync with CMO priorities and plans. Some of the findings include:

1. Marketing budgets / CEOs expect marketing budgets to grow over the next 12 months, but the growth will be at a slower pace than the past three years. Brand spending and new service introductions are the two areas seeing the highest incremental changes to budgets.

2. Social media investments / At least for the moment, investing in social media is not a key CMO driver. However, CMOs do not consider social media as something they can dismiss. Some key points:

  • Spending in social channels is falling after years of seeing positive growth as CMOs believe the investment has yet to highly impact company performance. Despite the current view, social media investment is expected to grow by 73% over the next five years, indicating there may be some challenges about how to utilize social media and how to keep pace with recent changes impacting marketing.
  • Your CMO may be interested in bringing agency services inside the company, but when it comes to social media, the opposite is true. Use of outside service providers has reached the highest point in five years. CPG category companies are the most reliant on outside social agencies and, as would be expected, so are large corporations.
  • Which strategic objectives does your CMO consider a great use of social media? A variety of objectives rank high: brand building and awareness, introducing new products and new services, acquiring new customers and promotions, like contests and coupons. But think twice before approaching your CMO with the idea of using social for identifying new products/services opportunities, improving current ones, identifying new customer groups or improving employee engagement. Each of these ranked low in the survey findings.

3. SEO and digital ads / The importance of SEO and paid digital is not lost on your CMO. Paid search and paid display – including programmatic – rank high on investment prioritization.

4. Mobile / CMOs are spending more of their budgets on mobile initiatives. They indicate plans to allocate up to 19.1% of budgets over the next five years. Consumer services companies plan to spend the most on mobile: 30.9% of budgets allocated. Of all industry categories, banking and finance are the least likely to value mobile as a contributor to company performance.

5. Hiring / When companies hire, the CMOs are most interested in FTEs versus contractors, and they prefer employees from companies in other industries. For example, B2C CMOs have the highest intent to hire from outside their own industry whether they market products or market services.

6. Growth / Your CMO is most likely to view driving growth as the biggest challenge: the ability to demonstrate the impact of marketing on financial outcomes is the highest ranked C-suite communication challenge. And ranking right behind driving growth? Delivering a powerful, differentiated brand; securing budgets; providing ROI for marketing activities; and hiring top talent.

7. CEOs / Your CMO is working with a CEO who, chances are, has no marketing experience. Only 1 in 3 CEOs surveyed have marketing backgrounds.

8. ROI / Most CMOs do not have quantitative proof of marketing’s impact. Just over 50% of CMOs surveyed report a good qualitative sense of the impact that marketing spending has but not quantitative. Only 36.4% say they have quantitative proof of impact. Despite these findings, the use of analytics for help in making decisions is growing.

9. Role models / What brands do CMOs consider to “set the standard” for marketing excellence? The number one company as ranked by CMOs is Apple, which has earned first place for eleven consecutive years.

You can access the full survey results here.

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