CMO Sentiment Looking Up: eMarketer

Marketers are optimistic but realistic

AUGUST 26, 2009 – According to the July 2009 “CMO Survey” by Duke University�s Fuqua School of Business and the American Marketing Association, marketers are looking up after a gloomy recession.

Fully 59% of marketers responding to the survey reported being more optimistic about the economy than three months before. They were also looking up when it came to revenues: 47% reported feeling more optimistic about revenues from end customers and 39% felt the same about revenues from channel partners.

But marketers were not blind to still-lagging consumer spending. More than six in 10 recognized that one of their customers� main priorities over the next year will still be low prices, with 34% characterizing that as their first priority. Another 62% put superior product quality as a high priority, though it was more likely to be secondary to price.

Notably, marketers also named excellent service and a trusting relationship as important to consumers, especially due to the high focus on retaining customers during the economic crisis.

Respondents were planning the biggest spending increases over the next 12 months in online marketing, at 9.5%. New product and service introductions were next, followed by customer relationship management efforts and brand building. Though overall marketing spending was expected to increase slightly in the next year, marketers reported planning to slash traditional ad spending by nearly 8%.

“These results indicate that marketers believe the tide had begun to turn,” said Christine Moorman, professor at the Fuqua School of Business. “However, they are clearly aware that the recession has caused customers to become more price sensitive and companies are wisely keeping that in mind as they make product and marketing decisions.”

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