Two-Thirds of CMOs Plan to Increase Digital Adverting Investment, Despite Spending Cuts
Chief marketing officers (CMOs) have modest expectations in 2018. Only 15 percent say they expect a significant increase in budget; 52 percent expect a slight increase. One-third expect their budgets will be cut or frozen.
"While the descent is not yet steep, it still poses difficult questions
for chief marketing officers," said
2017 has been a year of significant macroenvironmental upheaval, in
terms of both global politics and natural disasters —
"The risk is that CMOs are either being too nearsighted to be strategic or too visionary to deliver against marketing's objectives," said Mr. McIntyre. "The result is a lack of focus on the metrics that matter to CMOs and the business — how marketing activities deliver return on investment and profitability to the organization."
Not all organizations have felt the impact to the same extent.
Extra-large businesses have been shielded from cuts thus far, and cuts
have varied across industries, with retail and manufacturing hit
Expect Increased Investment in Digital Advertising
The survey found that two-thirds (67 percent) of CMOs plan to increase investment in digital advertising, while traditional media faces budget losses. More than half of CMOs expect their investments in event marketing and partner/channel marketing to fall or flatline, with 63 percent of marketers stating they expect flat growth or cuts in offline advertising investment. At the same time, investments are growing across a range of digital channels, including websites (61 percent of CMOs expect to increase investment) and mobile (59 percent expect to increase spending). CMOs also show a strong and continued commitment to social marketing, with 64 percent planning to boost budgets.
"The shift to digital away from traditional media reflects changing media consumption habits of target audiences," said Mr. McIntyre. "However, without capabilities like marketing mix modeling (MMM), CMOs risk cutting away at channels based on gut feel, irrespective of the journeys their customers and prospects actually take to buy, own and advocate their product and brand. These journeys likely include a range of digital and traditional touchpoints, which interplay and integrate with each other."
Measurability is a contributing factor to digital media budget growth. CMOs' focus on analytics reflects the need to demonstrate marketing and advertising performance and effectiveness to the business. The multichannel journey demands that marketing leaders go further than channel performance metrics and challenges them to employ advanced analytics to answer the elusive total marketing ROI question.
CMOs Are Focusing Budgets on Existing Customers
Marketing logic dictates that it requires more resources to acquire a new customer than to retain or grow an existing one. Consequently CMOs' budgets have become heavily skewed toward retention, with budgets dwarfing acquisition budgets by a ratio of two-to-one. However, this ratio can only be justified if it reflects the profitability existing customers bring to the business. Valuable marketing budget may be diverted to nurturing the wrong customers — those that are a long-term drag on profitability because they buy low-margin products, buy only during promotions or have high servicing costs. Furthermore, discarding the value of acquisition may harm the long-term financial health of the business.
Martech Spending Feels the Squeeze
Marketing technology (martech) spending has fallen by 15 percent in 2017, as CMOs pull back on previous high spending commitments amid concerns over marketing's capability to acquire and manage technology effectively. Martech continues to account for a significant proportion of CMOs' spending power, with 22 percent of the total marketing expense budget allocated to technology. However, this is a significant drop year over year, as last year's survey reported that 27 percent of marketing budget was allocated to martech.
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