CMOs risk becoming ‘corporate figureheads’
CMOs are at risk of becoming “corporate figureheads”, according to over two-thirds (69%) of senior and executive-level marketers, who fear they may end up having leadership roles without real power to create change.
However, the vast majority (91%) of survey respondents are confident in the ability of the CMO in their own organisation to affect the financial fortunes of the business.
CMOs are more likely to succeed if they offer varied experiences, perspectives, and merits say 80% of marketers.
Marketers are generally positive about their own businesses, with 80% trusting their company’s leaders to get them to the right destination. A similar proportion (76%) agree the majority of their team is excited about the business’s future.
Despite this general optimism, there is significant concern from many marketers about a short-term approach from their company. Almost half (45%) agree their company has compromised core values to enable short-term wins.
Most marketers think marketing skills have ‘completely changed’ over past decade
Almost four in five (79%) marketing professionals say the skillset required for their job has completely changed over the past decade, finds research from the Chartered Institute of Marketing and Target Internet.
Many marketers also lack confidence in their ability to meet these new demands, with 19% stating they think they only have some of the skills required to do their job.
In technology skills in particular, the research finds there is a gap between marketers’ confidence and actual skill level across the industry. With the exception of marketing theory, email, ecommerce and lead generation, confidence levels consistently outstrip actual ability. The skills gap is most evident in the content marketing, usability and social media skills areas.
The research finds that, over the last year, marketers at many levels have improved their skills. However, marketers in assistant and graduate-level roles have actually regressed in four of the 12 skill areas; with the only area of significant progress being social media (+9%).
Across all levels of seniority, the areas of social media (+8%), ecommerce and lead generation (+5%) and email marketing (+5%) saw the largest increases across the board of all marketers.
Source: Chartered Institute of Marketing and Target Internet
Women feel more impacted than men by cost of living crisis
The ongoing cost of living crisis is disproportionally affecting women over men.
Just under half (45%) of women say they feel financially worse off versus this time last year. By comparison just over a third (35%) of men say the same.
Women are also more likely to report making cuts or planning to make cuts compared to men. Almost half (46%) of women have cut back spending on clothing and accessories in the last year, compared to around one third (33%) of men.
Looking to the future, over half (51%) of women say they are planning to cut back on non-essential purchases, compared to less than two in five (39%) men who say the same.
Mintel forecasts consumer spending will grow by 6.5% to reach £1.73trn in 2023, however, it says much of the growth is driven by rising prices. This compares to a record 15% growth between 2021 and 2022.
In reaction to pressure on their discretionary spending, consumers have altered their takeaway habits. Just a quarter (24%) of British consumers are ordering home delivery or takeaway once a week or more in 2023, compared to 30% in 2021.
IPA Bellwether presents mixed picture for marketers
Total marketing budgets across all channels increased by a net balance of 5.3% in the third quarter of 2023, according to the most recent IPA Bellwether report.
Although this would appear to be a reason for optimism, this is notably down on the second quarter where that figure was 6.4% and is the weakest level of total budget growth since the fourth quarter of 2022.
Meanwhile, of those revising spend upward, ‘main media’ – channels often used for brand building – drove the growth this quarter. A net balance of 7.4% of companies report they are upwardly revising their main media budgets. This is the strongest growth recorded in this category in a year and a half.
It’s also a sharp contrast to what sat behind any growth in the second quarter, where sales promotion spend leaped to record levels. In the most recent quarter, more marketers were decreasing their sales promotion budgets than increasing, a net balance of -1.5%.
Looking to the future, Bellwether co-authors S&P Global forecast that UK ad spend will decline by 0.6% for the 2023 calendar year and by 0.4% in 2024. This expected decrease in spend comes as it downgrades its expectations for growth next year for the UK economy as a whole. Previously, it was forecast that the economy would grow modestly by 0.4% in 2024, however, it is now expected that it will decline by 0.1% next year.
Source: IPA Bellwether
Consumer confidence falls across the board
All the measures of consumer confidence in GfK’s October Barometer have fallen as the wider UK economy stalls.
The overall index score – the combined measure of confidence – dipped by nine points to a measure of -30. Critically, the major purchase index, which indicates the likelihood of consumers to make big-ticket purchases, fell by 14 to -34.
The public also feels negative about the overall economic situation over the next 12 months, recording a fall of eight points to -32. However, that is still more optimistic compared to the same measure for October 2022, when it stood at -61.
That in turn has translated to a six-point fall in confidence around people’s personal financial situation, with that score now standing at -8.
Though it does not count towards the overall index score, the savings index is down two points and now stands at 25.