CMOs Upping Their Brand Investments, Seeing Payoffs

March 11, 2019

This article is included in these additional categories:

B2B | Brand-Related | Business of Marketing | Digital | Featured | Industries | Marketing Budgets | Social Media

CMOs in the US are redoubling their brand efforts, according to the latest biannual CMO Survey [pdf]. Indeed, the latest edition reveals that CMOs are expecting their brand spend to rise by 9.3% in the next 12 months, outpacing comparable growth rates for CRM and new product introductions.

Investment in brand has increased over the past few years: growth expectations for brand spending are about twice as high as they were around 5 years ago.

These investments might be paying off: brand value metrics have improved, too. CMOs in this latest study are reporting a 3.8% increase in brand value over the past 12 months, up from a 2.8% change in the year-earlier period.

When comparing performance across business type, brand value growth for B2B products saw a larger rise than for B2C products (4.2% vs 2.7%). However, the reverse is true with respect to services. B2B services saw a 3.5% change in performance while B2B services’ brand value improvement stood at 4.4%.

With spending on brand continuing to rise, i’s no wonder that an earlier study found that brand awareness was the most important metric, being chosen by twice as many CMOs as ROI.

Social Media A Key Tool For Brand Awareness

Spending on social media is expected to go up by almost three-quarters (73%) in the next five years, rising from the current 11.4% of marketing budgets to 19.7% by 2024. While the survey found that social media makes only a small contribution to a company’s performance, marketers are using it to accomplish some key objectives.

Of these key objectives, brand awareness is at the forefront of social media use. Nearly 9 in 10 (88.2%) respondents say they are using social media for brand awareness and brand building. Far fewer companies use social media for other key objectives such as introducing new products and services (64.7%) and acquiring new customers (60.1%) than they do for brand awareness.

Using social media to keep a brand in the minds of customers has seen success. An overwhelming majority (96%) of Inc. 500 firms believe that social media is effective in building brand awareness with LinkedIn being the most used platform by respondents. Additionally, according to a study by Edelman, about half of consumers check social media at least once a week to get news about companies that they have an interest in.

Marketing Leads Brand Activity For Most Companies

When it comes to ownership of brand, the responsibility lies almost exclusively in the hands of marketing. For 9 in 10 (90.9%) companies surveyed, marketing leads brand activity. The proportion of CMOs who say that their companies places brand responsibilities with marketing has increased by about 15% points over the past five years.

A separate CMO Survey from last year showed that more than half (53%) of CMOs and marketing leaders ranked brand management as one of their top three primary roles, second only to business growth.

To read more, you can view the report here.

About the Data: The CMO Report is comprised of results from a survey of 323 top marketers from US for-profit companies. A majority (97%) of respondents were VP-level or above.

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