Dentsu Aegis launches CMO Survey - Investment on the up as global marketers bank on a data dividend

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  • Marketing spend is expected to increase across most markets and industry verticals—technology CMOs are mostly likely to be increasing their budgets; food & beverage and automotive CMOs are most likely to be cutting their budgets 
  • While short term budgets are generally increasing, securing long-term investment is the biggest challenge facing CMOs in the delivery of their strategy 
  • Within that context, using data to target real people is the #1 strategic opportunity for CMOs—but a data breach is also the #1 risk 
  • 60% believe that GDPR will make it harder to build a direct relationship with the consumer. A similar proportion (61%) say that while more data is available, it is harder to extract insight
  • Innovation ranks bottom in terms of being identified as key marketing role—putting the ability to meet the demands of the digital economy at risk

31 July 2018.  

Dentsu Aegis Network’s ‘CMO Survey 2018’, found that six in ten marketers expect marketing budgets to rise in the next twelve months. But it’s budget increases among larger corporates that stand out, with 43% of respondents planning for increases of 5% or more and just one in twenty expecting to see budgets fall. Confidence is highest among technology, automotive and financial services CMOs. 

However, the survey also suggests CMOs are facing significant challenges as they attempt to balance the opportunity to build new capabilities and enhance their role, with the risks and challenges driven by data and the digital economy. 

Opportunities in data tempered with caution

The evolution of marketing data towards real people, building on digital proxies and broad customer segment data, is identified as the number one strategic opportunity for CMOs over the next 2-3 years, with 80% of CMOs also recognising its importance to effective customer engagement.

However, the findings also reveal a substantial degree of caution. Suffering a data breach is now the leading strategic risk identified, while a high proportion of respondents (60%) believe that data protection legislation such as GDPR will make it harder to build direct relationships with consumers.

Digital commerce shaping how marketers approach partners and suppliers

Investment is expected to rise, but the survey reveals changing priorities, reflecting the increased focus on data as an enabler of growth. Investment in digital media, in-housing of marketing capability and a growing role for specialists are all high on the investment agenda.

Innovation being over-looked?

Nigel Morris, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer at Dentsu Aegis Network said:

“There’s a clear shift, as senior marketers adapt to a digital economy characterised by customer-led demand, near perfect competition and where competitive advantage rests in how well you know your customers. CMO perspectives are moving away from short-term investment in tech, apps and platforms towards what really matters – digital transformation that orientates the whole business around customers. 

“Data is central to creating deeper customer relationships and understanding and the most successful marketers have recognised that the key to strategic business growth is in their hands. This has the potential to transform marketing’s role as the architect of a business’s long-term vision. 

‑ ENDS ‑

For further information contact:

Ian Barber
Head of Corporate Communications
T: +44 7980 944724

About Dentsu Aegis Network

Part of Dentsu Inc., Dentsu Aegis Network is made up of ten global network brands - Carat, Dentsu, dentsu X, iProspect, Isobar, mcgarrybowen, Merkle, MKTG, Posterscope and Vizeum and supported by its specialist/multi-market brands. Dentsu Aegis Network is Innovating the Way Brands Are Built for its clients through its best-in-class expertise and capabilities in media, digital and creative communications services. Offering a distinctive and innovative range of products and services, Dentsu Aegis Network is headquartered in London and operates in 145 countries worldwide with more than 40,000 dedicated specialists.