What does the future of marketing hold? What digital marketing strategies should you focus on over the next 3 to 5 years? How does your company compare in terms of average marketing spending and social media budget allocation?
The CMO Survey, founded in 2008, surveys thousands of top marketers twice a year to look for marketing trends over time. The most recent results, gathered from over 4,500 marketers in February 2014, provide valuable statistical data.
CMO Survey Report Topic Areas
The 2014 survey covers 10 topics:
- Marketplace Dynamics
- Firm Growth Strategies
- Marketing Spending
- Financial and Marketing Performance
- Social Media
- Marketing Jobs
- Marketing Organization
- Marketing Leadership
- Marketing Analytics
- The CMO Survey Award for Marketing Excellence
I’ve provided a summary of a couple of the hottest topics below and included a link to the full report so you can read all of the results for yourself.
Marketer Optimism on the Rise
The biggest news to come out of this year’s survey is how much marketer optimism has increased in recent years. In fact, the percentage of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) saying they were more optimistic about the economy has quadrupled over the last five years, from only 15 percent up to 54 percent. On a scale from 0 to 100 where 100 is most optimistic, CMOs scored 66.1 in 2014, up from just 47.7 in 2009.
This increased optimism is based on positive perceptions of consumer trends. Surveyed CMOs say they expect to acquire and retain customers at higher levels in the coming year and also expect consumers to focus on higher quality as opposed to lower price.
Increases in Marketing Spending
On average, CMOs reported increased marketing budgets for their companies, with an average spending increase of 6.7 percent last year compared to 2013. Firms typically spend about 11 percent of their overall budget on marketing, according to the survey.
The area of spending showing the largest increase is, not surprisingly, digital marketing. While companies are decreasing the amount they spend on traditional advertising (down 0.1 percent), they increased spending on digital content strategies by an average of 8 percent.
Social media is playing an ever more important part in digital marketing strategy, and CMOs predict they’ll increase the percentage of their overall marketing budget spent on social media by a whopping 144 percent over the next 5 years, up to 18 percent total compared to today’s 7.4 percent.
Rise of Marketing Analytics
Another area being targeted for spending increases is marketing analytics. Companies predict they will increase the overall percentage of their marketing budgets for analytics by 72 percent in the next three years, from 7.1 percent up to 12.2.
Analytics is an area with much room for improvement. Only 36 percent of respondents felt confident that they were collecting and using the best quantitative data to demonstrate the value of marketing spending. These numbers were even worse for social media, where only 16 percent of CMOs believe they have solid quantitative evidence to back up their strategies.
Less than 8 percent of CMOs said they would rate the contribution of analytics to their company’s performance as very high, meaning that analytical data is not helping to drive decisions.
At this point marketing analytics is still a promise that really hasn’t been fulfilled in terms of its effect on the company’s performance. – Professor Christine Moorman, Survey Director
Part of solving this problem is finding the right talent. Nearly 40 percent CMOs added a marketing analytics position to their staff in the past year, but 80 percent said they had extreme difficulty finding the right person for the job. For those companies that did hire a competent analyst, company profit grew at a rate of 4.7 percent, substantially higher than the average reported 2.7 percent.
Do you agree or disagree with the CMO survey results? How do you see your marketing department changing over the next few years? Share your experience in the comments box below.