Into the Unknown
Into the Unknown

The latest dentsu CMO survey 2020 has launched and is the largest survey of its kind, drawing on the views and input of 1,361 CMOs across 12 markets as they plan for recovery in the new normal.

What’s clear is that uncertainty abounds:

The #1 challenge CMOs report is understanding how consumer behaviour will change permanently as a result of the pandemic. Furthermore, many CMOs are using old playbooks for a new kind of recovery.

Key messages from the report
Key messages from the report
  • Budgets are being squeezed, especially among smaller brands: 62% of CMOs (81% of those from smaller businesses) report their brands will cut or keep marketing budgets flat over the next 12 months, up from 41% in 2019.
  • While the pandemic has disrupted almost all brands, for some it has been helpful – 24% of CMOs in India report a positive impact.
  • The #1 challenge brands face moving forward is understanding which consumer behaviours will change permanently vs temporarily as a result of COVID.
  • However, as brands look to a new kind of recovery, new thinking is in short supply – nearly half of CMOs are using approaches from previous recessions
  • There are also implications for marketing agencies. While CMOs are generally pleased with agency performance on innovation, tech & data, there is scope for improvement on efficiency/cost reduction, long-term business partnering for growth and proactive delivery of new insights/trends.
Frontier CMOs 5 leading strategies
Frontier CMOs 5 leading strategies

dentsu identified 5 leading strategies being deployed by a group of ‘Frontier CMOs’ who are well placed for recovery:

1. Hyper-empathy: The ability to understand existing and new consumers more deeply and update that knowledge in real-time (e.g. through first-party customer data, ecommerce & direct-to-consumer strategies and increased investment in CRM).

2. Hyper-agility: The ability to act like a start-up and turn consumer insight into the rapid development of new, relevant messaging, products and services, placing a premium on content, innovation, product development as well as pricing.

3. Hyper-collaboration: The ability to ensure the whole business moves as one around this constant process of realignment, which requires higher levels of integration with the C-suite and other departments e.g. sales, R&D, product development as well as external partners/suppliers within their ecosystem.

4. Hyper-consolidation: The ability to quickly rationalise portfolios and prioritise larger, more resilient brands that are better able to survive periods of economic fragility, while pursuing opportunities to fill capability gaps through strategic M&A.

5. Hyper-transparency: The ability to ensure that all elements of how brands operate stand up to extreme external scrutiny, from supply chains to employee well-being and consumer engagement.

These strategies promise to help reassert the role of marketing and reclaim its strategic role, with a particular focus on product development.

The report can be found here.