Moody Marketers: They're Not As Optimistic As They Were

Marketers are decidedly less upbeat than they were roughly a year ago, judging by this year’s CMO survey, a collaboration between Deloitte LLP, the Duke University/Fuqua School of Business and the American Marketing Association.

Of the marketers surveyed, 58.3% now say they are optimistic about the economic/business picture.

And while that is higher than the 50.9% recorded during the pandemic in June 2020 and the 47.4% seen during the recession in February 2009, it still seems relatively flat. 

In September 2022, 57.2% said they were optimistic -- down from 69.6% in August 2021 and 66.8% in February 2022.

The most optimistic sectors are Energy (65.1%), Technology (61.8%).

The least optimistic are Banking/Finance/Insurance (50.9%), Consumer Packaged Goods (54.1%) and Communications Media (55.2%). 



The business-to-consumer (B2C) Product sector is below average at 57.3%, and is rated at the lowest among economic groups. 

Overall, 30.1% of marketers say they are more optimistic about the economy, and 40.9% are less so. Another 29.1% report no change. 

As for consumers, they seem more focused on excellence than price. Of the marketers polled, 32.3% say their customers list superior quality as one of their top three priorities over the next 12 months. That’s up from 30% last September.

In contrast, low price is listed by 18.9% -- up slightly up from 17.2% in September of last year.

And trusting relationships? Who needs them? A mere 15.5% now demand them, although that percentage risen from 14.6% in September 2022. Excellent service is cited by 13.7%, down from 18.5% last September.

This trend toward high product quality has been “especially notable among B2C product companies, with 41.2% reporting this as their first priority,” the study notes. “We attribute this to consumers continuing to lean into tried-and-true brand name products and services, a pattern spurred by stress-induced pandemic purchasing.” 

The sectors most likely to see this phenomenon are Pharma/Biotech (71.4%) and consumer Packaged Goods (54.5%). 

Meanwhile, 32.4% of B2C product companies say price as a factor.

The researchers surveyed 314 marketers from January 10-February 1, 2023.


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