Of All Their Worries, CMOs and Brand Managers Are Most Concerned with ROI

November 30, 2022

Some things just never seem to change… or go away. Despite all kinds of issues emerging in 2022 (looking at you, inflation and war), CMOs and brand managers continue to be most worried about ROI, as they have been for years now. In fact, virtually all (99%) of those surveyed by Brand Keys said that they worry about ROI/ROMI, the central metric used to assess their effectiveness.

Of course, it’s not surprising that senior marketers would worry about ROI, especially in an environment in which the vast majority report being under pressure to justify their spend. But now they have more issues to contend with, too. Fully 98% of the 463 CMOs and brand managers surveyed said they worry about work-from-home/remote working/return-to-office issues. This new entrant to the latest edition of the survey immediately vaults into the #2 spot among areas that are keeping senior marketers up at night. Another new option on the list, inflation/recession, also goes straight to the top, coming in at #3 as cited by 97% of respondents.

Rounding out the top 5 concerns are pressure for increased profits/shareholder value (96%) and competition from new brands (95%).

Certain concerns remain widespread, but appear to have eased somewhat since the last edition of the survey. These include supply chain snafus and product availability (90% at #7, down 4 spots) and COVID and covid-related management issues (89% at #9, down 6 spots).

Meanwhile, the issue of “dealing with political dogma” – something that most CMOs seem keen to avoid – has risen to be a worry for 94% of respondents, up from 82% in the previous survey. More CMOs and brand managers are also worried about deployment of predictive analytics, one of the leading data capabilities that remain out of reach for marketers. And sticking with the top 10, identifying brand purpose and ESG issues makes its entrance to the list in the #10 spot, cited as something keeping 88% of CMOs and brand managers up at night.

Here are some highlights beyond the top 10:

  • Balancing consumer advocacy and the brand was cited by 87% of respondents, up from the last survey.
  • By contrast, and though indicated to be a worry by 86%, concerns around optimizing and owning CX seem to have slightly allayed.
  • New to this survey, 83% said that the metaverse is something that keeps them up at night.
  • Slightly fewer this time are worried about creating relevant and engaging marketing and advertising (80%).
  • While work-from-home/return-to-work issues came in second overall, only three-quarters are worried that remote working will upset creativity (#30).

For the full list of 31 issues that at least three-quarters of surveyed CMOs and brand managers say keep them up at night, check out the release here.


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