Tuesday, May 20, 2008

CMO Club May '08: Survey shows CMOs undaunted by recession

Pete Krainik CEO of The CMO Club shared his findings from a CMO study he conducted of 100 CMOs.

The number one issue Krainik wanted to know was "Has the impact of the recession affected your business?" In general, the answer was no.
  • 58% of CMOs do not feel negative business impact due to the recent slowdown or recession
  • 71% of CMOs say their marketing budgets have NOT been reduced
  • Only 33% of CMOs felt budget reductions (14% overall) were tied to the recession
Here are some of the other results.

Question: If you were cutting your budget today, what would be the two things they'd cut first?

Answers (in order):
  1. TV/Print (half said this)
  2. Trade shows
  3. Events
Question: What would you not cut?

Answers (in order):
  1. SEM/SEO
  2. Online Advertising
  3. PR
  4. Company website
Somebody actually shouted out, "My job!"

Only 20% of CMOs with budget reductions have had their marketing objectives amended in line with reduction.

Question: What is the best tool or advice you'd give other CMOs for improving marketing effectiveness during a recession?

  • Segmentation and direct response vs. branding. Analyze and focus on target set of customers/prospects
  • Focus on Metrics and campaigns you can measure. If you can't measure it, don't do it. Everything you do should have ROI attached.
  • Focus marketing efforts on current customers. Customer satisfaction is critical.
  • Leverage online and new social networks more than traditional mass market vehicles. Online advertising, SEO/SEM, online networks
Question: What is the biggest issue you have currently as a CMO?

  • Headcount and resource effectiveness. Acquiring and retaining good talent. Doing more with less headcount.
  • Customer engagement and trust. Getting more net promoters.
  • Differentiation. Cutting through the clutter in messaging, programs and service delivery.
Conclusions from the survey
  • Managing Marketing budget cuts linked to a recession is NOT a top issue of CMOs.
  • The most important issues for CMOs surveyed are talent management, customer engagement and trust, and differentiation.
  • We're reached a point where online advertising, SEO/SEM, and the company website budgets are now "sacred" vs. traditional media budgets.
  • Focused measurable direct response and current customer satisfaction and upsell are most critical to CMOs during a recession.

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