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New CMO Council Report: Global Marketing Leaders Looking for Growth and Recovery in 2021

There’s some good news and optimism from global marketing leaders looking for growth recovery in 2021. Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed by the CMO Council say they will boost marketing spend in the coming year and most don’t expect to downsize or re-structure their organizations.

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While many industry sectors have struggled in the past year, it appears most marketers have already done all the cutting, pruning and restructuring of budgets and teams in 2020, notes the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council.

The organization has 16,000 members in 10,000 companies across more than 110 countries worldwide. Members collectively control nearly $1 trillion of annual marketing spend. Key indicators of a positive outlook among come from a year-end “Getting It Done in 2021” audit of around 200 CMO Council members across all regions worldwide. Key findings reveal:

  • A surprising 65 percent will increase marketing spend in 2021; just 10 percent will reduce their budgets, while 24 percent expect no change
  • A large percentage of marketers (70 percent) report significant or growing investments in marketing technology to improve effectiveness
  • Most important areas of marketing automation and transformation will be sourcing and using customer data insights, executing campaigns more effectively, as well as improving operations and performance
  • Just a quarter of marketing leaders say they will downsize or re-structure their marketing organizations in 2021, in contrast to 64 percent who will not
  • Working more effectively with lines of business is the number one priority for marketing leaders, who are also keen to lower cost, increase efficiency and do a better job of both globalizing and localizing campaigns
  • Over half of marketers surveyed want to optimize their customer journey, and more than a third want to boost acquisition and conversion rates through better data-driven interaction and digital innovation
  • Interestingly, across company sizes, regions and industries, priorities remained consistent: marketers are looking to increase spend and automate; likewise they are looking to save costs through efficiencies rather than through staff cuts

“The most relevant and compelling areas of conversation among our members right now are all about ROI, efficiency and revenue optimization,” notes Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council. “This means being more focused on digital marketing transformation, creating value from customer data, and upgrading customer engagement and experience.”

The online survey was fielded in December and early January.

About the CMO Council

The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council is dedicated to high-level knowledge exchange, thought leadership, and personal relationship building among senior corporate marketing leaders and brand decision-makers across a wide range of global industries. The CMO Council’s 15,000-plus members control more than $500 billion in aggregated annual marketing expenditures and run complex, distributed marketing and sales operations worldwide. In total, the CMO Council and its strategic interest communities include more than 65,000 global executives in more than 110 countries covering multiple industries, segments and markets. Regional chapters and advisory boards are active in the Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East, India and Africa. The council’s strategic interest groups include the Coalition to Leverage and Optimize Sales Effectiveness (CLOSE), Customer Experience Board, Digital Marketing Performance Institute, Brand Inspiration Center, Marketing Supply Chain Institute, and the GeoBranding Center. For more information, visit www.cmocouncil.org.

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