Research: Just 7% Of CMOs Say They Are Success-Ready

GfK is launching a CMO Outlook Index, and its maiden voyage reveals a startling lack of readiness in major marketing measures for respondents. Just a quarter of these 633 CMOs strongly agree that their company has a clearly defined purpose or mission beyond raking in some green.

GfK’s report follows a recent study from Gartner, which reports that 71% of the chief marketers in its survey say they lack the budget required to deliver on their strategy this year.

GfK measured multiple success factors falling under three pillars. For impact, it looked at such statements as “I have a clear understanding of which activities, channels and marketing levers give the best ROI” and “We have a strong team with all the skills we need.”

To track alignment, it used statements that included “Beyond our commercial goals, we have a clear mission or purpose as a brand,” and “Our brand is an asset that helps us to deliver commercial success.” And for investment, it asked respondents to react to statements like “My CEO and CFO believe in the value of investing in our brand,” and “We have the right balance between short-term return and long-term brand building.”



Although 40% of the execs think they’ve got all the resources they need in at least one of the areas, only 7% had it in all three.

For budgeting, 60% of those in the survey prioritize long-term brand building, spending roughly 70% of their funds on these efforts. And 19% say they are optimally positioned in brand and demand spending.

In alignment, only 28% are highly confident in their data, analytics and insights systems. Consumer goods, fashion and lifestyle companies showed considerable weakness.

While those in the largest global companies are more likely to say they are confident in all three realms, GfK notes significant sector variation. Utilities, telecommunications and logistics fared worse, while technology, durables and financial and professional services did best.

Consumer goods, fashion and lifestyle companies had the highest scores, each standing at 24.

Last month, Gartner released its CMO survey, this one based on 401 marketing leaders. It probed 2023 budgets and found most remained flat, at 9.1% of total company revenue, down slightly from 9.5% in last year’s survey.

With 75% saying they are pressured to do more with less, 86% are making significant changes. And while martech is still the biggest investment, 75% say they need to pare back that spending.

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