Overall confidence in marketing has increased to a record level, even though marketers express less confidence in their understanding of ROI and investments in the right customers. That’s according to the latest Marketers Confidence Index from the AMA and Kantar Vermeer, which also reveals that young marketers are the most optimistic about their function’s outlook.
The Confidence Index rose to 69 on a 100-point scale in this latest edition of the biannual survey, up 6 points year-over-year. Budgets also seem to be trending in the right direction: 36% of respondents expect an increase in spending over the next 6 months, up from 28% in the previous iteration of the survey.
Rising confidence overall doesn’t mean that there aren’t some troubling trends in certain areas, though.
In this latest survey, just 39% of marketers said they’re confident that they’re investing in the customers who matter, down from 52% a year ago. Likewise, only 32% are confident that their organization’s marketing team understands the ROI of marketing plans, down from 43% a year earlier. In fact, more marketers are not confident (38%) than confident (32%) in this area.
Young Marketers the Most Optimistic
The overwhelming majority (86%) of marketers under 35 feels that the power and influence of the marketing function will increase over the next few years. That optimism is in line with industry trends in which CMOs are increasingly influencing growth strategy and holding general management aspirations. It also appears to translate to investment plans, as 78% of marketers under 35 are confident that organizations should be making investments right now.
Not everyone is quite as optimistic about Millennials, though. While 78% of marketers aged 36-45 also see the marketing function’s power and influence increasing, that figure drops to 61% of 46-55-year-old marketers and 56% of those aged 56 and older.
Still, even the grizzled veterans are far more likely to see marketing’s influence rising than falling: only about 1 in 10 respondents aged 46 and older think that the power of the marketing function will decrease in the coming years.
About the Data: The Marketers Confidence Index is based on an online survey conducted by Kantar Vermeer in December 2016, among a sample of 304 marketers in the U.S.