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CMOs Ramping Up Budgets, but Accountability Is Key


Marketing budgets are on the rise again: 57% of senior-level marketers say they are increasing their overall marketing spend in 2011; among them, most (26%) plan to increase budgets between 1% and 5%, according to the CMO Council's State of Marketing Report.

Only 11% of CMOs surveyed say they are increasing budgets more than 10% in 2011; 12% plan to increase spending between 6% and 10% this year.


Stronger accountability and operational visibility and crucial this year: 60% of marketers intend to set clear goals and track deliverables to better monitor and control spending, while maximizing effectiveness.

Below, additional findings from the CMO Council's 2011 State of Marketing Report based on a survey of 700 senior-level marketing professionals.

Mandates for 2011

Among chief deliverables this year, CMOs cite driving top-line growth (46%), followed by growing and retaining market share (45%) and defining brand value (31%).


Lengthening sales cycles continue to plaque sales and marketing departments: 20% of CMOs plan to focus on filling sales pipelines with high-quality leads, while 17% plan to find new markets and audiences for their products and services.

Improving Digital Marketing via Customer Insights, Segmenting

To maximize the impact and value of digital marketing, CMOs plan to focus heavily on using data, customer insights, and improved segmentation to drive top-line growth and market share, citing the following priorities in 2011:

  • Improved targeting of marketing outreach and campaign rollouts: 64%
  • Digital demand generation: 43%
  • Qualifying and tracking lead conversion: 42%
  • Exploring alternative media and new roads to market: 41%

In addition, 37% of CMOs say they will fully synthesize social media channels into their integrated approaches this year, while 18% plan to gather and better utilize Web metrics and performance measures.

Measuring Digital

Fully three in four CMOs say they now use they use page views, click-throughs, and registrations to track the effectiveness of their online marketing and advertising, but some are planning improvements in 2011:

  • 34% plan to automate social media monitoring and data mining.
  • 23% plan to invest more in Web analytics.

2011 Budgets in Detail

More than one-third of CMOs (37%) say they plan to bring on new digital and interactive marketing talent this year.

Regarding budget allocations for 2011, CMOs cite the following top four investment areas:

  • New product and program launches: 50%
  • Lead generation and qualification initiatives: 44%
  • Retention and monetization strategies directed at existing customer groups: 39%
  • Regional development: 31%

Biggest Challenges

The economy is cited as CMO's biggest challenge (51%), followed by technological challenges (42%) and Internet influence and voice (27%).

External issues, and those related to a stagnant economy, such as financing and investment (18%), increased regulatory and government oversight (17%) and diminished demand (14%) are issues for roughly one in six CMOs.

Other key findings among surveyed CMOs:

  • Agency changes: Among those who made agency changes in 2010, 35% point to the lack of value added thinking as the primary reason for the break; another 33% cite a lack of innovation, while 28% say results didn't meet expectations.
  • For the first time in five years, CMOs are less satisfied with improvements to brand image: 16% say overhauls to visual identity, Web properties, and corresponding collateral were top achievements in 2010.

About the data: Findings are from a survey of 750 senior marketing executives in April and May 2011, hailing from every continent and representing almost every vertical industry sector and company size. Some 63% report directly to the CEO, president, or COO, and another 14% report to a regional VP, GM, or division or business head.

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