Customer acquisition and growth are the name of the game for Australian marketing leaders this year. And CMOs are looking to utilise their stronger strategic executive standing, bigger marketing budgets, ever-expanding in-house capabilities and brand work to achieve such ambitions.
These are just a few insights from this year’s State of the CMO, CMO’s sixth annual industry research initiative gauging how Australian marketing leadership is evolving in terms of functional role as well as contribution to business. CMO’s research looked into key aspects of the CMO position and marketing function, technology procurement and influence, responsibilities and remit, extent of influence as digital and customer custodians within their organisations, skills, priorities and more.
One key question CMO sought to answer was whether marketing leaders are coming out of the pandemic in a better executive position than they entered it. Results indicate a firm yes. The ratio of respondents who perceive marketing to be a business leader has increased 9 per cent year-on-year and is up 4 per cent on 2020 results inputted as the pandemic had just begun. Not one marketing leader to this year’s survey believed their function is seen a cost centre.
What’s more, marketing budgets are up: Three in four cite bigger budgets year-on-year, and two-thirds have bigger marketing budgets than pre-Covid.
The reset to a growth mindset across Australian organisations also shone through this year’s State of the CMO. More than 4 in 10 (41 per cent) said leading growth initiatives is a key priority set by the CEO in 2022. And the lever for growth is customer acquisition. Just over four in 10 CMOs are enabling a new plan for customer acquisition, and 76 per cent see acquiring new customers as their dominant growth strategy in 2022, up from 48 per cent in 2021.