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What’s on your CMO’s mind for 2017?

#Forecast, #SocialMedia, #Strategy

The pace of change facing your Chief Marketing Officer has never been greater. As the role of marketing transforms, CMOs are leading the charge. What’s on their minds about what’s happening now, and what’s ahead in 2017? A new American Marketing Association CMO survey of top U.S. marketers provides a glimpse into their thinking.

Marketers are taking on a broader range of responsibilities within their organizations, spending on digital marketing continues to rise, and Chief Marketing Officers are facing capability gaps according to the latest American Marketing Association survey of top CMOs.

427 top U.S. marketers participated in the poll, held twice a year, 94.9% of whom are VP level or higher. The findings provide both an insight into the current state of marketing, and a glimpse at its trajectory heading into 2017.

Here’s a closer look at some key findings:

Marketing budgets, responsibilities are climbing

With marketing budgets expected to grow by more than 7% in the next 12 months—up slightly from this year—the majority of CMOs agree that the role of marketing has broadened within their organization over the past five years, with 10% indicating it has increased “significantly.” The survey breaks down the areas where marketing is taking the lead (see slide 56 in the Slideshare below), with (not surprisingly) brand, advertising and social media topping the list. And, while its leadership role is down slightly in some areas, the poll shows that marketing is playing an increasing role in the areas of CRM, new products and market selection.

CMOs facing capability gaps

As the role of marketing grows, the poll suggests that CMOs will be busy shoring up their strengths in key areas. A comparison of current capabilities measured against those ranked ‘most important’ reveals some notable alignment issues (slides 52 and 53). For instance, CMOs cite ‘Brand development and management’ as most important, while rating it in the middle of the field among their current capabilities. ‘Digital marketing’ ranked third (of nine) in areas of importance, while also topping the list of capability gaps.

The mass migration to digital marketing continues, but slows

Spending on digital marketing will continue to outpace that of traditional advertising, but at a more modest rate of increase in the coming year (slide 21).

Social media (SM), for instance, accounts for 11.7% of total marketing budgets, more than triple the 3.5% spent in 2009, yet well short of the 17.5% marketers had predicted five years ago.

Why the shortfall? “Consumers are essentially saturated,” says Professor Christine Moorman, Founder and Director of the CMO Survey. “It’s not as effective perhaps as it used to be, so they’re reducing their spending levels as a result of that loss of effectiveness.”

Another reason may be the difficulty in quantifying the impact of SM (slide 38), almost certainly linked to a lack of confidence in its impact on company performance (slide 39). (Need to shore up that confidence? See our ‘Tips’ below).

Despite this, marketers predict their SM spending will increase by 90% in the next five years, and consume more than 22% of their marketing budget.

No less intriguing are ‘big picture’ trends emerging from the poll data, which affirm that your customer is changing, which in turn is driving changes to marketing itself, and to the role of your CMO.

Buckle up.

CMO survey highlights

Tips: Does your CMO have doubts about your social media’s effectiveness?

Quarry’s Social Media Specialist offers these three tips for getting maximum ‘oomph’ from your SM:

1. Like all good marketing, social media works because you can be where your audience is. Don’t waste time on networks your audience isn’t looking for you on. Do you need Pinterest? Are you reaching anyone on Google+?

2. Double-down on your paid social campaigns. All major networks now offer sophisticated audience targeting tools to help you reach the right people at the right time but you have to pay to play.

3. It is difficult to track social ROI without an investment into complex marketing technology. Focus on producing content that is relevant and resonates with your audience in real-time and measure engagement.