Marketing spending is on the rise with favorable investment outlooks continuing in digital tools, analytics and marketing research, according to the Marketers Confidence Index from the American Marketing Association and Millward Brown Vermeer.
This is despite a still fragile economy and otherwise unstable environment. The index remained stable in the second quarter of 2016, increasing two points from 121 to 123, despite a dampened jobs report, stock market turmoil and political upheaval. A reading of 100 in the Index represents neutral.
The Index measures the degree of optimism on the state of the economy that U.S. marketers are expressing through their organizational spending and growth.
The Index found 53% of U.S. marketers surveyed believe their businesses will grow in revenue in the next few years, and that 60% believe the marketing function will grow in influence and power within their organization.
Forty percent feel as if customer spending will increase and 60% of marketers feel that this is the right time to invest and nearly 30% plan to increase the size of their marketing budget over the next six months.
“As marketing budgets increase, we expect most of the dollars to be allocated toward media placement, new product development, sponsorships, and market research and analytics,” said Russ Klein, CEO of the American Marketing Association, in a release. “While marketers display increased optimism on their industry and budgets, there is evidence they are not as confident about the ability to quantify the ROI of marketing initiatives.”
The Index found that only 22% of respondents have insight in the true ROI of all key marketing programs.
Thirty percent plan to increase the size of their marketing budget over the next six months with more money being put toward media placement, new product development, sponsorships, and market research and analytics.
Some expressed concern that senior leadership does not really understand the value of digital technologies, digital marketing and mobile and that there isn’t sufficient training for how marketers can convert big data and analytics into results for drive true digital transformation.
The latest findings identified technology and digital tools as primary drivers of organizational power and influence, highlighting virtual reality, social media, live marketing and the Internet of Things (IoT) as new opportunities to increase customer interaction and drive continued loyalty.
“Similarly to wave one, we have found that marketers continue to be confident in their influence in the board room,” said Marc de Swaan Arons, Millward Brown Vermeer’s chief marketing officer, in a release. “This surge of organizational power is mostly driven by the expansive growth of new digital tools, especially the consistency across digital platforms and cross-department collaboration. It is now up to us to use these tools and newly found influence to impact the bottom line.”
An online survey was conducted in May 2016. AMA newsletter subscribers and followers across a wide range of for-profit and nonprofit industries were invited to participate in the survey. The survey consisted of 13 questions in total and 1,028 marketers responded.