Marketers can’t tell exactly what the future holds. But crystal balls and tarot cards aside, marketers seem optimistic for the years ahead. According to The CMO Survey, 74.7% of marketers foresee an increased ability to acquire new customers within the next 12 months. Likewise, 69.3% of marketers surveyed expect increases in customer purchase volume and 49% predict increases in customer retention.
And with a new year comes a new budget. Relative to the 12 months prior, marketers are growing their overall marketing spend, on average, by 6.7% during the next 12 months, according to the survey. In fact, respondents say that on average marketing represents 10.9% of their company’s overall budget. Yet, marketers struggle with identifying how this spend impacts their overall business. For instance, half of respondents (51.5%) say they have a good qualitative sense of marketing’s long-term impact on a company, but not a quantitative sense. And while marketers are upping their marketing budgets overall, they’re cutting back on their digital spend. According to the survey, the percent change in digital advertising spend has gone from 10.2% in February 2013 to 8.2% in February 2014.
Marketers also don’t have any pessimistic premonitions when it comes to spending on social. While respondents currently devote 7.4% of their marketing budgets to social, this figure is expected to increase to 10.1% over the next 12 months and 18.1% in the next five years. However, marketers seem a bit hazy when it comes to social’s effect on the bottom line. According to the survey, half of respondents (49.2%) aren’t able to show social’s impact on their business yet.
If there’s one thing marketers are clear about, it’s the need to spend more on marketing analytics. In fact, marketing analytics spend is expected to surge 72% in just three years, according to the survey. But will spending more on marketing analytics force marketers to use those analyses? Present practices suggest no. According to the survey, less than one-third (32.5%) of projects leverage available or requested marketing analytics.
And if marketers want their futures to remain bright, they’ll need to track their ROI. Survey respondents say that they measure ROI by means of manager judgments (27%), customer surveys (22%), and econometric modeling (18%); yet 15% admit that they still don’t measure marketing ROI at all.
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