Despite the economic downturn, nearly half of all CMOs (54.1%) say their company’s budget would stay the same or increase in 2009, according to the newly released Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council’s Marketing Outlook 2009. However, their overall marketing mix is shifting, the study said.
“Senior marketers are looking to hold budgets steady and not make tremendous cuts in headcounts,” said Liz Miller, the council’s VP of programming and operations. “Instead, they’re reallocating both their budget and talent into those areas that better engage and communicate with core audiences and customers.”
The majority of respondents said their traditional marketing elements, such as outdoor, print and TV, would remain the same, but digital advertising, including social media and search marketing, would increase. Of those surveyed, 45.7% said their spending budgets would decrease.
Only 9% of marketers rated their online performance capability as “excellent,” while 36% said they were questioning the value of click, not doing a good job for converting clicks to sales or struggling to quantify the value of online marketing spend.
“We need that number to be zero,” Miller said. “It’s one thing to track a click, but we need to know exactly what that consumer experience is and how that consumer is transforming into a customer.”
Miller also said she expects to see many more personalized marketing programs and less “spray and pray” initiatives.
“Marketers need to demonstrate to customers that you as a brand truly understand what makes them tick and why they should be doing business with you,” she said.
This also goes hand in hand with the fact that only 17% of marketers said customer service and support fell under their jurisdiction. Marketers need to focus in more on CRM if brands hope to retain loyal customers, Miller said.
The report, which surveyed more than 650 worldwide marketers, was co-sponsored by Deloitte, Jigsaw and Ad-ology.