CMOs Predict Sizable Budget Shift to Digital Marketing

Accenture-Budget-Shift-to-Digital-Marketing-Apr2013Fresh on the heels of a report finding that 4 in 10 global marketers around the world will be reallocating budgets to digital marketing (a report which itself came shortly after a US-based study indicating the same trend), a new study from Accenture has emerged looking at the topic from the perspective of CMOs around the world. And the takeaway is much the same: digital marketing is going to get more of the overall marketing budget next year. About 2 in 3 respondents said they would be devoting at least 25% of their budgets to digital marketing next year, up from 46% who said they would allocate that much this year.

What’s more, the majority of that increase comes in the “more than 50%” category. That is, fully 23% of CMOs surveyed plan to devote the majority of their budgets to digital marketing next year. That’s about double the 11% giving digital that much of the pie this year.

The reorganization of the marketing budget comes at a time when CMOs see big changes on the horizon. 7 in 10 respondents feel that the marketing function will fundamentally change over the next 5 years – with that figure higher among B2B2C (74%) than B2B-only (62%) companies.

CMOs may approach these changes with some amount of trepidation: separate results from the survey indicate that confidence in their preparedness is falling. That is, in 2012, 61% felt prepared, down from 66% in 2011. In 2012, CMOs also indicated more difficulty in improving the efficiency of their marketing operations and improving their workforce’s responsiveness to digital shifts and changing consumers.

In order to tackle those employee-relating challenges, CMOs say they’ll also be working on optimizing their internal skills, by emphasizing some areas over others. For example, next year 24% will dedicate 41-60% of their employees to digital marketing (up from 21% this year) and 26% will dedicate that share of their employee focus to customer analytics (also up from 21%).

That increased attention to digital is warranted due to its “game-changing” nature, say the researchers, for whom CMOs’ “ability to restructure the organization and work horizontally to deliver seamless and relevant customer experiences across all touch points all day and every day will be essential to [their] survival in the global marketplace.”

About the Data: The “2012 CMO Insights” data is based on an online survey across 10 countries with 405 senior executives who are key marketing decision-makers in their companies. Most companies have at least US$1 billion in annual revenues, although corporations in France, Australia, Singapore, and Brazil have revenues of at least US$500 million.

B2C and B2B2C corporations each represented 37% of the sample, with B2B companies the remaining 26%. Financial services was the most heavily represented sector (34%), followed by product companies (30%).

45% of respondents were based in Europe, Africa and Latin America, 40% were located in North America, and the remaining 15% in Asia-Pacific.