How Are CMOs Chasing Consumers’ Attention?

November 20, 2023

It’s a complex media landscape out there. Agencies are recommending that their clients try new digital media channels, and many marketers have indeed diversified the types of channels they’ve used in order to adapt to new customer behaviors. A recent report [download page] from dentsu examines the investments that CMOs have made to earn consumers’ attention, as well as those that they plan to make in the coming year.

Based on a survey of more than 600 CMOs in the US and Canada, the report reveals that the top investments that respondents will be making in the next 12 months in pursuit of consumers’ attention are social commerce, and organizing or sponsoring live events. What’s more, the share of respondents who plan to invest in each of these in the next year outpaces the share who invested in them in the past year, suggesting that these areas are on the rise.

By contrast, investments in influencer marketing may be easing, as fewer plan to pursue consumer attention this way in the next 12 months as did in the past year. This is despite separate research suggesting that marketers feel that influencer content is the channel that most delivers attention.

In other investment trends related to the chase for consumers’ attention, the report indicates that fewer CMOs will look to virtual events for this purpose (in contrast to the growth in live events), with slightly fewer also turning to the production and sponsoring of original content (TV shows, movies, podcasts, radio shows).

Instead, there appears to be a small uptick in those who will court consumer attention through integration into gaming.

Integrating new solutions isn’t always easy. In fact, when asked about the aspects of media transformation that CMOs expect to be most challenging, the highest share pointed to the challenge of integrating emerging tech solutions (AI, AR, etc.). Other top media transformation challenges for CMOs include a complex, crowded and fragmented tech landscape, and the tightening of data privacy regulations and cookie deprecation.

Some CMOs are also concerned about the declining control over the brand on social media and in the creator economy. As regards social media, in light of recent changes in the landscape (such as Elon Musk’s acquisition and rebranding of Twitter, Meta’s launch of Threads, and the proliferation of AI-generated content on social), 39% of CMOs strongly agree that they are redirecting some of their focus on social media to other interactive/conversational channels, while 38% strongly agree that within the social media space they’re much more focused on emerging platforms than they were before.

Finally, more than 4 in 10 (42%) strongly agree that they are enhancing their brand safety efforts and precautions in the social media space.

For more, download the report here.

About the Data: The H2 2023 results are based on an August survey of more than 600 marketing leaders in the US (401) and Canada (206).


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