The CMO Survey Blog

CMO Survey: Marketers To Hire Again; Remain Focused On Social Media

DURHAM, N.C. — Top marketing officers at U.S. companies plan significant hiring increases over the next two years as they remain optimistic about prospects for their firms and the U.S. economy, a new survey has found.

The February 2010 CMO Survey is a nationwide poll of chief marketing officers conducted twice each year by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business in conjunction with the American Marketing Association. The survey collected responses from 612 marketing executives during the last two weeks of January.

Nearly half of companies say they expect to hire new marketers during the next six months, while 60 percent will do so in the next year and almost 90 percent over the next two years.

Firms plan to increase hiring levels by 8 percent in the next six months, 13 percent during the next year, and 24 percent over the next two years.

Experienced marketers with skills related to Internet marketing, innovation and growth, and customer relationship and brand management will be the most sought after by survey respondents.

“Marketing hiring has been flat in recent years,” said Fuqua professor Christine Moorman, director of the survey. “This is an especially welcome sign of a return to better days in the marketing community.”

The biggest increase in marketing hiring is expected among business-to-business (B2B) product companies, while B2B services companies predict the smallest hiring growth. Consistent with this, B2B services marketers report the highest expected increase in outsourced marketing activities.

“B2B services companies also report that Internet marketing skills are particularly important to them at this time, which may explain their focus on outsourcing to established companies instead of hiring in-house staff,” Moorman said.

Overall optimism among marketers continues to grow, with 62 percent reporting their optimism about the U.S. economy has increased since last quarter, and nearly 64 percent feeling more optimistic about their own companies than they did last quarter. By contrast, in the August 2009 survey, marketers felt upbeat about the economy (59 percent) but less so about their own companies (48.2 percent).

“Marketers are beginning to see the signs of a rebound within their own companies,” Moorman said. “It’s no longer in the tea leaves; it’s showing up at their own cash registers. This is the strongest sign we have seen yet.”

This optimism is also reflected in respondents’ expectations for customer behavior, with 66 percent of firms anticipating increased volume in customer purchases, and 26 percent expecting higher prices. Nearly half of firms (47 percent) also expect an increase in the number of new customers in their markets, and 45 percent believe they have improved their abilities to retain current customers.

Overall, marketing budgets are expected to rise by 6 percent, the largest expected increase in a year. Internet marketing expenditures will account for the largest share of this increase, while traditional advertising will continue to drop off. Moorman points out that spending on brand and customer management – “the blocking and tackling of marketing” – continues to rise. “Without customer and brand, it’s hard to survive long,” she said.

Social media continues to emerge as a central component of Internet marketing strategies. Firms currently allocate 6 percent of their marketing budgets to social media, an allotment they expect to increase to 10 percent during the next year and 18 percent over the next five years.

B2B services companies report the largest planned increases in social media spending, from 7 to 11 percent of overall marketing budgets, over the next year. This trails similar increases already made by business-to-consumer services companies, which increased social media spending from 3 to 7 percent between August 2009 and February 2010.

“Even though many are still experimenting and learning how best to use social media tools, these results indicate that marketers think social media marketing is here to stay and will play an increasingly important role in their work in acquiring and retaining customers in the future,” Moorman said.

Survey respondents were also asked to recognize companies they consider to be marketing leaders that set the standard for excellence across all industries. Apple, Procter & Gamble and The Coca-Cola Co. were the top vote-getters, and will receive the “CMO Survey Award for Marketing Excellence.” P&G and Apple have won the award three times and The Coca-Cola Co. twice.

“These three companies are perennial favorites among survey respondents,” Moorman said. “Each has demonstrated a keen balance of proven marketing programs with a sophisticated approach to the adoption of social media and other new developments, and provide us all with opportunities to learn from their successes.”

Other findings of the survey include:

— Marketing channels show a similar economic rebound, with partners expected to increase level and range of products and services as well as prices paid.

— Companies plan to increase market research and intelligence activities by 7 percent, indicating firms are investing in activities to identify new growth opportunities especially those involving diversified growth.

— 72 percent of firms currently outsource some aspect of their marketing programs, and 41 percent expect to increase outsourcing over the next year.

Detailed results, including tabular summaries of results and results by firm and industry characteristics, are available at www.cmosurvey.org.


About the survey: The CMO Survey collects and disseminates the opinions of top marketers in order to predict the future of markets, track marketing excellence and improve the value of marketing in firms and in society. Founded in August 2008, the survey is administered twice each year, with questions repeated over time to discern trends. The next survey will be in August.

CMO Survey: Marketers Prepare for Better Times Ahead

DURHAM, N.C. — Chief marketing officers in the United States are increasingly optimistic about the economy and their customers’ purchasing activities, and are embracing the power of social media as they seek to promote their brands and attract new customers.

These are some of the results of the August 2009 CMO Survey, conducted by professor Christine Moorman of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business in conjunction with the American Marketing Association. The survey results reflect the responses of 511 top marketing executives of U.S. companies who were polled during the last two weeks of July.

Overall, 59 percent of marketers are more optimistic about the U.S. economy than they were just one quarter ago. They also report improved expectations for revenue growth, with 47 percent feeling more optimistic about prospects for revenue from end customers and 39 percent more optimistic about revenue from channel partners (who resell products to end customers) than they were just three months ago.

Marketers anticipate an acceleration in customer activity over the next year, with 48 percent expecting an increase in purchase volume, 44 percent looking forward to customers buying more related products and services and 35 percent predicting an increase in new customers entering the market.

The recessionary belt-tightening is not over, however. Price remains the most frequently reported top priority for customers, with 34 percent of top marketers ranking it as their customers’ top priority, followed by trusting relationships with companies (20 percent) and superior product quality (19 percent).

“These results indicate that marketers believe the tide had begun to turn,” Moorman said. “However, they are clearly aware that the recession has caused customers to become more price sensitive and companies are wisely keeping that in mind as they make product and marketing decisions.”

Marketers continue to report a shift in spending away from traditional advertising (with a planned overall decrease of 8 percent) and toward Internet marketing, where they expect to increase investments by 10 percent. They report plans to increase spending on social media efforts by more than 300 percent in the next five years, increasing their marketing budget allocations for social media from 3.5 percent to 13.7 percent over the next five years. Social networking (65 percent), video and photosharing (52 percent) and blogging (50 percent) dominated firms’ social media patterns. Survey respondents report the five most frequently reported uses for social media tactics are brand building, customer acquisition, new product introductions, customer retention and market research.

CMOs report plans to increase spending on marketing consulting services by 1 percent (compared to February 2009 plans to reduce consulting spending by 5 percent) and a slight uptick (from 2 percent to 3 percent) in planned spending on marketing research and intelligence. Marketing hiring is flat except in the Business-to-Business Services (+3.5 percent) and Business-to-Customer Product (+1.6 percent) sectors.

“When we last polled these companies in February, they were cutting back on all but the most critical functions,” Moorman said. “The positive change in spending on market research and consulting services indicates that they are making preparations for future growth in the market.”

The survey also asked top marketers to identify firms across all business sectors that they regarded as having exceptional marketing capabilities. The most frequently cited firms, which will receive the August 2009 “CMO Survey Award for Marketing Excellence,” were Apple Inc. and The Procter & Gamble Company.

“These firms are consistently recognized by their peers for excellence in marketing,” Moorman said. “Moreover, they have not sat still through this tough economic period. Instead, they have upped the ante on their value propositions by innovating and getting closer to their customers.”

Other key findings of the CMO Survey include:

— Russia and Eastern Europe are the regions where marketers expect the most future growth to occur, with significant decreases in opportunities in Canada, Mexico and Western Europe.

— CMOs expect the majority of firm growth to occur internally, with 70 percent of growth spending allocated to internal growth strategies, 13 percent to partnerships, 10 percent to acquisitions and 7 percent to licensing.

— Despite economic pressures, there has been little turnover in CMO positions this year; top marketers report having been in their positions for an average of 4.3 years — unchanged from February.

The CMO Survey Results
View the slides that explain them
View more documents from FuquaMarketing.

Detailed results, including tabular summaries of results and results by firm and industry characteristics, are available at: cmosurvey.org/results/.
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About the survey: The CMO Survey collects and disseminates the opinions of top marketers in order to predict the future of markets, track marketing excellence and improve the value of marketing in firms and in society. Founded in August 2008, the survey is administered twice each year, with questions repeated over time to discern trends. The next survey will be in February 2010 with a bonus section on Marketing and Return On Investment. The survey will be expanded to include European CMOs beginning in 2011 and Asian CMOs in 2012.