- The American Marketing Association’s 2017 Marketers Confidence Index gained 6 points overall for a total of 69 out of 100 points, a record high, the organization said in a press release.
- Confidence has eroded in several key areas in the past year. For example, only 25% felt their team had the right tools and processes in place, down 8 points.
- The problem of unsure marketers extends to the ability to understand the return-on-investment (ROI) for marketing efforts, with 32% saying they have lost confidence in their teams' abilities to do so.
While the survey of marketers highlights areas of excitement, including new digital tools to support social media, personalization, marketing automation and augmented reality, the growing urgency around the costs of a lack of transparency in the metrics and measurements related to digital marketing may help explain the drop in confidence regarding their understanding on how to accurately measure returns on investments made in their plans. The quick pace of change in marketing these days is likely an underlying reason for why marketers are feeling less confident about their investments.
The findings point to the need for all marketers to harness the power of data and analytics, per the AMA. In particular, senior leadership must show that they understand metrics, analytics and creating a customer-centric organization.
It is perhaps no coincidence that the drop in confidence in some areas arrives at a time when there has been a broad sense of uncertainty in the air for many during the first few months of 2017 over a variety of issues, some of which impact marketers. These uncertainties include questions over how the new president’s policies might impact issues of net neutrality, privacy, brand sentiment and consumer confidence.
Under these circumstances, the overall optimistic mood of marketers is a good sign. This positive outlook is reflected in findings such as 36% of marketers expecting budgets to increase in the next six months. A year ago, 22% felt budgets would decrease. In terms of where any upcoming budget cuts might come from, 24% pointed to media placement while just 4% said analytics.