CMO Council Study Reports Growing Budgets, Greater Focus On Digital Initiatives

Marketing executives are increasingly confident about their organizations' business performance, according to a new study from the CMO Council. Yet many CMOs still see major room for improvement in their digital marketing capabilities.

The group's "State of Marketing 2012" report found that fewer than one in five CMOs think their teams excel at digital marketing. Nevertheless, an average of 27% of a company's marketing budget is now spent on digital initiatives, compared to 23% devoted to traditional marketing campaigns.

In general, according to the report, many marketing organizations are benefitting from higher budgets. About 57% of the CMOs surveyed said they increased their budgets in 2012, and 54% expect an increase in 2013. In addition, the survey reported that 50% of marketing chiefs expect to add staff during 2013, while just 19% anticipate staff reductions.

Just 11% of chief marketers said they feel that their jobs are currently at risk – a departure from the popular image of the CMO position as unstable and subject to high turnover. The vast majority (77%) of chief marketers earn a base salary between $100,000 and $349,000, in addition to bonuses and other incentives.

Other findings in the study include:

  • In spite of growing budgets, lack of funding continues to be the biggest single source of frustration from most CMOs.
  • The top priorities for marketers are top-line revenue growth and market share gains, and 82% of CMOs said they consider their objectives to be attainable given current economic conditions.
  • Nearly 60% of CMOs said they expect to change their agency partners during 2013, usually due to a perceived lack of innovation and value-added thinking.

The 2012 study included responses from more than 550 heads of marketing, communications and customer engagement at companies worldwide.