What the Top CMO Trends Mean for Advancement

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In February, Deloitte, Fuqua School of Business at Duke and the American Marketing Association released results from their annual CMO Survey.

There are marketing leaders represented in the study from higher education, technology, consumer goods and other industries. The survey gets at CMO's sense of their industry's and business' current and future marketing initiatives and budgeting.

Here, we share five key insights from that study:


Marketing leaders were asked what their budget expectations were for the year ahead across key channels. While marketing in general was expected to see a 9% increase, "traditional" advertising spending was set to drop by nearly 2% while digital spending is set to increase by 15.1% - the most of all key budget areas.

We've all known this and the trend isn't new - just expanding in importance. Think of any decision you've made on anything regardless of investment size across the past 3-5 years. 
Whether a house or a new book - you started with digital content.


Only 9.6% of respondents felt that they were "effective" or "very effective" at integrating customer information across purchasing, communication and social media channels while well over half felt they were, in fact, ineffective.

Yikes. Not surprising, but this one hurts. When you're ineffective at this work, you can't support that expansion of budget very well from #1. You also can't hone and optimize your work. Good thing QuadWrangle is a one-stop marketing platform for engagement and fundraising.


More than three-quarters of respondents reported that they couldn't quantitatively show the value or impact of social media on their organizations.

This directly relates to #2 and, again, hurts. It's also why senior leadership still raises an eyebrow when they see expanding social spending in budgeting. We're not against it. But you have to do more than say, "we think we know some of these people who like the Facebook posts we boosted." How did your social spend explicitly drive core organizational KPIs? If you're not setup to measure and know that, then don't expand the ad spend on social. Cart needs to come after the horse.


Marketing leaders plan to increase their marketing analytics spend by 300% in the next three years alone.

Well, there you go. The pain points from #2 and #3 have forced marketing leaders to increase their analytics spend. Again, go get your analytics horse and then hook up that big cart of ad spend.


What's more, marketers expect a 288% increase over the next three years in the importance of implementing artificial intelligence or machine learning into their marketing toolkits.

We've all seen this coming. QuadWrangle as long as six years ago when we began developing Isaac to leverage AI to automatically personalize engagement and appeals between schools and their constituents.

Marketing, writ large, is moving more digital, more analytical, more automated and more AI-driven. All of those things are hard. They take years to get good at. If you want to chat about how we got there, drop us a line: getisaac@quadwrangle.com

Nick ZecketsComment