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Lockdown Marketing Ad Spend

Two-thirds of global CMOs to boost spend and scale-up tech in 2021


By John Glenday, Reporter

January 28, 2021 | 3 min read

A newfound wave of optimism is sweeping through global marketing leaders, according to the CMO Council. A survey showed two-thirds expect to boost marketing spend through 2021 and a majority have ruled out the need to downsize or re-structure for the time being.

CMO Council

Two-thirds of global CMOs to boost spend and scale-up tech in 2021

A focus on tech and automation

  • Having spent much of 2020 in managed decline, marketers are now chomping at the bit to resume a growth trajectory, with a CMO Council audit of 200 members finding that 65% aim to boost spending through 2021.

  • The sunny outlook highlights a clear direction of travel, with just 10% expecting to implement further cuts and 24% still unsure.

  • Behind this rosy disposition is a heavy investment in marketing technology, with 70% of respondents turning to automation to improve efficiency.

  • A broad consensus has emerged that the key to future success will be sourcing and harnessing customer data insights to implement more effective campaigns.

  • Confidence has become so widespread that the proportion expecting to downsize or restructure this year has fallen to a quarter. Pessimists are eclipsed by the 64% who have vowed to go for growth.

  • Marketing leaders are jostling to work more effectively – a factor singled out as the most important. Others aim to improve their tailoring of global and local campaigns in addition to trimming costs and driving efficiency.

  • The CMO Council audit found that a majority of marketers wish to optimise the customer journey, while over a third seek to enhance acquisition and conversion rates through improved data handling and digital innovation.

  • These priorities remain surprisingly robust irrespective of company size, region or business of operation.

Marketers want to drive digital transformation

  • Explaining this unanimity of thought, Manuel Hüttl, senior vice-president for Europe at the CMO Council, said: ”The most relevant and compelling areas of conversation among our members right now are all about ROI, efficiency and revenue optimization.

  • ”This means being more focused on digital marketing transformation, creating value from customer data and upgrading customer engagement and experience.”

  • The report is the latest in a succession of surveys pointing to a recovery, with the only question being the strength and duration of the upswing.

  • Dentsu foresees a modest recovery in 2021 but does not expect global ad spend to return to its pre-pandemic peak until 2022. This followed a dismal conclusion to 2020 in the UK, where ad spend suffered another drastic contraction on the back of a third lockdown.

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