The number of CMOs in the US who are confident about their efforts rose strongly last year while those who say they are concerned that their organisation is not investing in the right customers fell 13 per cent.

The figures are contained in Marketers’ Confidence Index, which is a biannual survey released by the American Marketing Association in partnership with Kantar Vermeer.

The study measures the degree of optimism on the state of the economy that US marketers are expressing through their organisational spending and growth.

The study revealed a big decline in marketers’ confidence in their team’s ability to understand the ROI of marketing plans. That number dropped by 11 per cent.

DOWNLOAD: 2017 Marketers’ Confidence Index

Also declining was marketers’ confidence in whether their organisation is investing in the right operating model. Only 25 per cent of respondents felt their team had the right tools and processes in place, which is down 8 per cent from 2016.

Among the other findings;

  • Of marketers under age 35, 86 per cent are optimistic about the power and influence of marketing in an organisation over the next few years while 56 per cent of marketers age 56 and older feel confident.
  • Of younger marketers (35 and under), 78 per cent are confident that organisations should be making investments right now; only 59 per cent of marketers age 36-45 felt now was a good time. But this growing optimism from younger marketers has not yet resulted in growing budgets.
  • Marketing budgets are ripe for growth. More marketers are expecting increased budgets in the next six months. 36 per cent of marketers expect an increase, up 8 per cent from Q2 2016. This is a stark contrast from January 2016, when 22 per cent of respondents felt their marketing budgets would decrease.
  • Marketing budget allocation has remained stable, but when it comes to budget cuts, 24 per cent of respondents said they would reduce their media placement budget, but only 4 per cent would cut their analytics budget.

According to Marc de Swaan Arons, CMO and executive board member of Kantar Vermeer, “While the Marketers’ Confidence Index revealed optimism in several key areas, there are some critical concerns leadership teams need to address and cannot afford to ignore.”

“With technology changing the way customers engage, we all must harness the power of data and analytics as part of an integrated marketing strategy for growth, profitability and differentiation,” he said.

The study also revealed the areas marketers are most excited about include new digital tools to support social media, personalisation, marketing automation and augmented reality.

Marketers are also hoping to more effectively demonstrate the added value of their marketing initiatives, especially around analytics, big data and innovation.

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