A February 2010 CMO Survey (www.cmosurvey.org) based on a nationwide poll of 600 top marketers conducted in partnership with the American Marketing Association and the Fuqua School of Business, projects an optimistic future that may put some wind in your sails as we navigate through the rest of this year and into 2011. Finally a forecast that gives us hope and encouragement!
The CMO Survey highlighted:
- Increase in Marketing Spend. Marketing budgets have taken a beating the past few years, and the winds should change and set us back on course. Marketing budgets are anticipated to rise by over 5% within the next year. Of course, the area that will see the largest allocations are expenditures for Internet marketing. Also, branding and customer management will receive significant increases, as well as allocations for social media - even in the B-to-B companies. Social media is going to stick around for awhile as companies continue to refine how it fits into their overall strategy.
- Increase in Hiring. This is what we've been waiting for. Over half the companies polled are planning on hiring new marketers within the next six months, which is an increase of 8% over last year. However, marketing executives will seek marketers that have skills specific to Internet marketing, customer relationship and brand management. B-to-B product companies are projected to lead the pack in hiring, followed by B-to-B service companies.
- Increase in Outsourcing. Currently over 72% of firms outsource components of their marketing programs, and over 40 percent are planning on increasing outsourcing. Companies need to continue to stay flexible and focus on the strategy of their products and services. By engaging with key outsourcing partners, companies can maintain control of brand and strategy while focusing on what is important --the needs of their customer.
What does this mean?
Even though marketing executives are optimistic about the future, it may not be smooth sailing yet. New standards and accountabilities have been set, and metrics need to be met in order to sustain the increase in spending and hiring.
Marketing executives have been required to be more precise with their planning, discern how to get more impact and leverage with their budgets, and they've been required to establish effective resources for marketing analysis and return-on-investment.
As you experience calmer waters and you are given more resources to deploy, be careful not to fall back into old habits of over-hiring, overspending, or implementing initiatives that lack measurement or accountability. Consider alternative solutions - such as Creatis or other strategic partners - to maintain flexibility and effectiveness to weather the next storm.
"Never in my life before have I experienced such beauty, and fear at the same time. Ten icebergs so far today ..." - Ellen MacArthur