CMOs Eye Big Data, Digital Spend For 2018 Budgets

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As companies set their sights on 2018, marketing leaders are looking to shift their spending towards digital. According to Gartner's most recent CMO Spend Survey, Two-thirds of CMOs plan to up funding on their digital initiatives, investing more in analytics, digital ads, eCommerce and social media.

While larger companies like Facebook and Google have typically dominated the ad spend arena, Jordan Bitterman, CMO at IBM Watson Content and IoT Platform, suggests companies will begin to diversify their ad spend in 2018, turning their sites to other outlets that could activate different audiences.

“As I speak with clients I am hearing of a desire for a more diverse set of sites on their plan," Bitterman said in a statement We'll see that beginnings of that this coming year." 

Increased focus on analytics (which accounts for 9.2% of CMO budget on average, according to Gartner) indicates a possible shift in how organizations value data-driven insights in their marketing strategy. As marketers begin to embrace more data-driven strategies online, offline marketing efforts are taking the backseat. The consumer shift to mobile purchasing (this holiday season alone saw double-digit growth of mobile purchasing) also gives marketers new opportunities to capture audiences on desktop and mobile, with data to drive innovations in segmentation and targeting.

Different data demands

Increased focus on refined analytics could change how brands interact with agencies and potential partnerships. Data-driven decisions need, well, data – and strategic evaluation of positioning and success relies on both sides of partnerships to contribute.

“In the coming year, we actually expect to see brands form closer relationships with both their media agencies and their DSP partners. That's because each of these parties offers unique expertise that advertisers can't find anywhere else,” Brian Stempeck, CCO at The Trade Desk, said in a statement. “The agencies have unparalleled insight into strategy and technical execution, while the technology platform is able to help the brand with programmatic tactics, data, measurement, and optimization.”  

Going mobile  

The app economy is going to continue to play a more important role in customer acquisition through mobile into 2018, as organizations begin to mix in-store and online offers to create multi-channel experiences for buyers. App Annie projects consumer spend through mobile apps will hit more than $110 billion globally next year – a forecasted 30 percent increase over 2017.  

As far as content, video platforms and entertainment will continue to be major players. You can expect augmented reality to start playing a more prominent role, as social media giants like Facebook and Snapchat continue to develop more sophisticated platforms for technological development. 

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