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WARNING: Only 4 in 10 CMOs to increase ad spend. But, where are these budgets going?

WARNING agencies marketers


WARNING: Only 4 in 10 CMOs to increase ad spend. But, where are these budgets going?

  • Just 3% of CMOs think they have the perfect internal skill set

  • 72% are increasing content marketing budgets

  • Only 25% say they make full use of data they have access to


A recent survey by marketing and advertising consultancy NewBase shows that globally CMOs are appreciating the changing media landscape, but the budgets show what the real priorities are.

The report, titled The Evolving Marketer, highlights five key areas of change: revenue generation, customer experience, data, content and processes.

Show me the money

The trend of focusing on ‘growth’ instead of ‘marketing’ started last year when Coca-Cola let go of its global CMO Marcos de Quinto to create a new role of chief growth officer consolidating marketing, customer and commercial leadership strategy. Hershey’s and Kellogg’s followed suit.

Now, 82% of global CMOs admit that the role has become more financial results focused, with 63% saying their key priority is going to be driving growth for the business.

The customer is always right

The role of the customer journey has become more important with the increase of touchpoints and attribution models to measure these touchpoints.

ALSO READ: The customer is NOT always right says IBM’s Fahd Osman

This is probably why nearly 67% marketers said marketing decisions should be based upon their impact on the consumer, instead of the business. And so, 50% of CMOs have the customer journey at the top of their to-do list with 44% saying they are going to ensure a customer-centric model is put in place.

A date with data

Data is a no-brainer today for any brand or agency.

Although only 25% say they make full use of data they have access to, more than 80% CMOs are going to invest more money in data.

It is no surprise that the UAE is at par with that trend with size of investment in technology going up from $35 million (Dh128.5 million) in 2013 to $799 million in 2016, according to a Dubai SME report.

It’s still tough times as global CMOs emphasize that over 50% of the data available to the business is not being used to its fullest potential and 75% agree they are only able to use a small portion of the data they have at hand.

MUST READ: Data privacy is not the only reason people are leaving Facebook 

This is an opportunity for senior marketers, with over nine out of ten (92%) saying that creative and analytics need to work more closely to drive business success.

As OMD’s Farah Moumneh pointed out at the Dubai Lynx this year, She also added that data should be rooted in human truth, placing “human insight” above “audience data” and “transactional data”.

In or out?

Even though 97% don’t think they have the perfect skill set internally, almost 67% are moving towards more in-house marketing services; which is why 68% say that it is essential to have people on board who are skilled enough to evolve with technology developments. And because these technological developments – adtech and martech, programmatic, etc., – have been so rapid, 55% of CMOs admit that they have an internal skills shortage.

But still, 57% of CMOs are not outsourcing programmatic. Similarly, 64% are not outsourcing advertising; and an overwhelming 72% are NOT fully outsourcing creative and design, and research and insight.

Even in the region, companies like PepsiCo have heavily invested in bringing in talent in-house. Hossam Dabbous, vice-president, Beverages Category, PepsiCo Middle East and North Africa, says, “Certain skills have become an in-house requirement for our companies worldwide, such as consumer engagement, brand activations, brand PR, e-commerce, and social media management. Brand guardianship was outsourced to agencies.”  

Heavy pockets

While CMOs overall say they have to achieve more with less, there are some functions where budgets are increasing, along with the time investment required by marketing.

Unsurprisingly, they are expecting to spend more on digital, content marketing and social in the short term – with 75% allocating increased budgets to these channels.

 For marketing strategy, advertising, branding, PR, design and product marketing, a majority of CMOs are NOT expecting budgets to increase. But, 40% are expecting more spends on advertising and design, both with 50% forecasting a rise in investment in branding.

There are some functions, which don’t entirely sit within the remit of the CMO, and therefore CMOs don’t have full budgetary control over them… at least, not yet. These include customer experience, customer service, – although 75% do expect more budgets for these two – e-commerce, data and research. 

As the economy tightens, consumers demand more, and new technologies keep growing, the role of the marketer has changed to become more results-driven. This also means that now marketing has a bigger role to play within an organization – with 82% thinking that marketing’s influence has increased internally – going from a “promotions and creative role to becoming the centralized lift-shaft of the business,” as Mike Jeanes, global head of insight, NewBase puts it.


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