We believe that there has never been a more exciting time to be a marketer. Digital technologies may be arming marketers with new tools to deliver their strategy. But it is the deeper shift towards a digital economy that demands a more fundamental resetting of a brand’s long-term strategy than many appreciate.
To help understand how brands can win in a digital economy, we conducted a global survey of 1,000 CMOs and senior-level marketers from across ten markets and across industry sectors.
Our analysis shows marketing in flux, but by no means finished. Most CMOs expect their budgets to increase over the next 12 months. But the composition of that spend is changing. Those able to adapt quickly enough to the realities of the digital economy will be the winners.
Barriers to entry are being eroded
- Digital technologies have helped erode barriers to entry and create the conditions of near-perfect competition between producers and consumers. In this demand-led economy, growth is emerging from unexpected quarters as brands step out of their traditional industry.
- Within this context, CMOs are in a unique position as the ‘growth antennae’ of the business, turning consumer insight into the next commercial opportunity. Reflecting this, two-thirds of CMOs see driving business growth as their primary role.
- How can CMOs support business growth? Primarily by securing long-term consumer relationships (70%) and finding new sources of revenue (63%).
Data is unlocking new growth—and risk
- Data is the enabler that allows businesses to identify new growth opportunities. If you have the data, you have the advantage. Over the next 2-3 years, CMOs see the ability to use data to reach real people, rather than proxies or customer segments, as the number 1 strategic opportunity.
- However, a data breach or misuse of consumer data is also the number 1 strategic risk, identified by a third of CMOs globally. Furthermore, 60% of CMOs believe that the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will make it harder to build a direct relationship with consumers.