Research Reveals CMOs’ Spending Priorities for 2022

Budgets and revenue optimism are on the rise across the C-suite, according to Forbes’ recent CxO Growth Survey 2.0. According to the data, eight in ten CxOs expect revenue and earnings to grow over the next year.

The findings come from Forbes which surveyed 500 C-suite leaders in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific about their priorities, challenges and opportunities for growth. These same CxOs plan to invest more in areas such as artificial intelligence, advanced workflow solutions and blockchain, with 31% saying their company’s investment in blockchain would increase by 1 to 15% over the next two years.

Marketing is a crucial part of driving revenue growth, and Forbes wanted to know where CMOs plan to focus their time and energy to meet C-suites’ expectations for increased revenue. The good news? Marketers will have more to work with. More than half of marketing managers said their overall marketing budget will increase over the next year.

As for where they’ll focus, we’ve found five areas marketers will focus on, and data and diversity have proven vital throughout.

Increase the confidentiality and protection of customer data

Privacy and data protection will be (if not already) a central focal point for CMOs. Our survey found that 38% of marketers will focus on privacy and protecting customer data over the next two years. Additionally, more than 1 in 3 will strengthen cybersecurity to keep customer data safe.

This initiative is also good news for CIOs who see cybersecurity as one of the main challenges of the coming year. Based on our data, you can expect CMOs and CIOs to work closely together on privacy solutions.

Use data to drive marketing strategy

Move on content because data is now king. More than a third (38%) of CMOs said they would use data to drive their marketing strategies and businesses over the next two years. The rest of the C-suite also agrees with this, with nearly a quarter (24%) of CxOs saying they will increase their organization’s investment in big data and analytics by 16-30% over the next two years.

Build a more diverse marketing team

The big quit is still in full swing, and our survey found that nearly one in four HR managers believe their organization’s biggest talent gap over the next 12 months will be in marketing and sales. The good news?

Marketing managers plan to hire more diverse team members to fill the void and fill what was already a void in the first place. Our study found that 35% of CMOs plan to build a more diverse marketing team and hire more partner agencies that prioritize diversity.

Raising diverse voices and perspectives in campaigns

Internal representation is only part of the mission; Marketers also need to consider who their marketing campaigns represent externally. One of our previous summaries on DE&I mentioned a study that found that only 1.9% of characters in ads shown at the Cannes Lions Festival included LGBTQIA+ people.

Even though 74% of CMOs agree that consumers are more likely to engage with content featuring diverse voices, only 31% say they plan to focus on showcasing diverse voices and perspectives in the campaigns over the next two years. Hopefully those numbers will rise before consumers start to drop.

Develop the skills of the marketing team

As budgets are upgraded, so will skills training. Over the next two years, 30% of CMOs will focus on expanding the skills of their marketing team. How? ‘Or’ What? With the help of HR. Forty percent of CHROs said they plan to invest in new e-learning platforms and external training for their teams. Additionally, 39% will focus on developing employees’ soft skills and 34% will formalize mentoring and coaching programs.

This dual focus is another example of CMO partnering with other C-suite members to achieve business goals. With nearly three-quarters of CMOs increasingly believing their role is to act as unifiers within their organizations, partnerships like these are something you’re likely to see more of.

Read also : How Adobe uses data to tell better stories

Storyteller Spotlight

Using data-driven marketing solutions is the best way to respond to the changes brought about by Covid-19.

That was one of the key takeaways in a BCG BrandVoice message from Sarah Willersdorf, partner, managing director and global head of luxury at Boston Consulting Group since 2015.

In the Q&A published on Forbes in the fall of 2021, Willersdorf encourages marketers to invest in data-driven solutions and suggests four strategies they can adopt to accelerate the digital maturity of their operations.

“The best marketers use data for end-to-end measurement,” she said in the post. “They gain a deep understanding of the entire customer journey and continuously optimize content. They make data-driven and digital ways of working the norm.

Forbes and BCG released the message as an Executive Diary, a product unveiled last year that makes it easy for client executives to share their thought leadership in their own voice, more cheaply and faster than ever before.

Read the message: Marketing in the Age of Disruption

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