CMOs in the US and Canada are reporting greater revenue increases than they were earlier this year and have a better budget outlook for the coming year than they previously had, according to dentsu’s Fall 2023 edition [download page] of the CMO Navigator.
Three-quarters (73%) of the CMOs surveyed for this H2 2023 report indicate that their revenue has grown to some degree over the past year, up from fewer than two-thirds (64%) who said the same 6 months earlier, in the H1 2023 report.
Correspondingly, only about 1 in 7 (14%) report a decline in revenues, down from about one-quarter (26%) in the report from earlier this year.
Compared to the year-earlier period (H2 2022), there has been a slight increase in the share of CMOs who say that revenues have grown, and a slight decrease in the share who say that revenues have slipped.
Perhaps as a result, this latest study finds that CMOs are more optimistic about their budget outlook than they were earlier this year. Fully 79% expect their budgets to increase over the next 12 months, compared with about two-thirds (66%) who had that expectation earlier this year. Once again, this represents a rebound of sorts, after 78% of CMOs had expected a budget increase at this time last year (H2 2022 survey).
Recent research from The CMO Survey indicates that in the US, CMOs expect their overall marketing spend to grow by about 10% (9.9%) during the next 12 months, compared to a reported 7.9% rise in the past 12 months.
Interestingly, dentsu’s study suggests that perceptions of the economic environment aren’t affecting budget expectations. Among those CMOs who believe that the economy is fine, 83% are expecting a budget increase in the coming year. That figure isn’t much lower among CMOs who think that the economy is a downturn (77%) or that the economy is in recession (78%).
In fact, separately, two-thirds of respondents said that the current economic environment has either helped their business (27%) or had little effect on it (39%).
Asked about their order of priority for resource allocation across 4 initiatives, the largest share (29%) of respondents pointed to demand gen as their top priority, slightly ahead of the customer experience (27%). Slightly further back were brand initiatives (23% share ranking as top priority) and business transformation (20% share).
These priorities varied among different business types. Demand gen was more likely to be cited as the top priority when allocating overall resources by B2B respondents (index of 120) and by those with a decreasing budget (index of 162), whereas the customer experience was more apt to be cited as the top priority by B2C CMOs (index of 116) and by those with growing budgets (index of 102).
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).