Chief marketing officers at US companies are planning significant hiring and budget increases over the next two years as they remain optimistic about prospects for their companies and the economy, according to a survey conducted by Duke University and the American Marketing Association. Overall, CMOs expect marketing budgets to increase, on average, 5.9% in the next year, with social media emerging as a central component of Internet marketing strategies.
Below, other findings from the February 2010 CMO Survey, a nationwide poll of senior marketing executives conducted biannually.
Economic and Business Outlook
Economic optimism continues to grow: 62.1% of CMOs say their optimism about the US economy has increased since the previous quarter, compared with 59.1% who had said so six months earlier (Aug. 2009).
Nearly two-thirds (63.9%) of CMOs say they are more optimistic about their own companies than they were in the previous quarter, compared with 48.2% who had said so six months earlier.
That optimism is reflected in marketers' expectations for customer behavior over the next year:
- 66% anticipate increased volume in customer purchases.
- 47% expect an increase in the number of new customers in their markets.
- 45% say they have improved their abilities to retain current customers.
- 26% are forecasting higher prices.
Business Growth Strategies
Marketers' growth-strategy priorities over the next year will be as follows; percentages refer to the share of total spending to be allocated to business growth:
- Market penetration (taking current products/services to current markets): 44%
- Product/service development (new products/services to current markets): 26%
- Market development (current products/services to new markets): 18%
- Diversification (new products/services to new markets): 13%
B2B product firms expect the biggest spending reduction to be in market penetration (from 44% in Aug. 2009 to 39% in Feb. 2010) and the biggest spending increase to be in diversification (from 10.8% in Aug. 2009 to 15% in Feb. 2010).