- Chief marketing officers said a recession is likely to affect small and mid-size companies this year, mostly because of a loss of business and consumer confidence, per a survey of more than 50 CMOs who work on behalf of Chief Outsiders. The firm matches companies with a "fractional CMO" who provides marketing expertise based on their experience at a big company.
- Almost three quarters (72%) of CMOs said they see more collaboration in organizations to reach company-wide growth goals. More than a third (35%) of businesses expected to bring more marketing agency work in-house in 2020 to cut costs. Understanding the customer was considered most important to growth, followed by the development of a relevant strategy.
- The U.S.-China trade war was forecast to have a muted effect on business, but about two-thirds (64%) of CMOs said it was likely or very likely that business and economic conditions will have a negative effect on 2020 business performance. Another 33% said the economy was unlikely or very unlikely to have a negative effect.
Chief Outsiders' survey of its fractional CMOs who consult for small and medium-size businesses indicates that many marketing executives are concerned about the economic outlook, and will adopt a variety of strategies to boost revenue.
In-housing of marketing services has been a growing trend in recent years, but most companies still will rely on outside agencies for services. While 35% of CMOs said it's likely or very likely they'll bring more of the marketing agency work in-house, about 61% of respondents said they're not likely to in-house those services. The No. 1 reason to in-house is to cut costs, with 47% of CMOs saying marketing spending decreases over time from in-housing, per Chief Outsiders. Another study released last week indicated that more companies will in-house marketing services. More than 72 % of corporations have an in-house agency and that number continues to grow, the In-House Agency Forum (IHAF), an association for internal agencies, found in a study.
Most CMOs (80%) expected to boost digital advertising this year, with the use of video, blogging and case studies as the most important areas for content. Spending priorities among digital channels include organic search, content marketing, email marketing, paid search and social media. Most CMOs (88%) see difficulty in staying ahead of technological advancements this year. The most common uses for artificial intelligence (AI) will be customer targeting and segmentation (31% of respondents), qualification and prioritization of leads (31%) and predictive modeling of consumer behavior (25%), per Chief Outsiders.
The survey mentions the U.S.-China trade dispute as being less of a concern, a positive development considering that the spat was blamed for slowing global economic growth, CNBC reported last year. While many CMOs may fret about recession, global economic growth is expected to improve to 3.3% this year from 2.9% in 2019, the International Monetary Fund said in a revised forecast timed with the World Economic Forum (WEF)'s annual meeting in Davos last month.