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Chief Marketing Officers Say Budgets Will Remain Buoyant in 2008


Palo Alto, CA – Marketing budgets in the U.S. will remain buoyant this year as 50% of the companies surveyed in a new poll by the Chief Marketing Officer Council (CMOC) said they planned increases in spending.

At the same time, however, those expenditures will have strings attached in the form of an even greater insistence on accurate measurements of return on investment (ROI).  “There is definitely more attention being paid to the analytics side of the business and the use of more tangible and targeted forms of personal interaction, contextual communication and online demand generation,” said Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMOC.

The annual CMOC Marketing Outlook released January 14 found that 38% of the respondents planned to keep 2008 marketing spending at the same level as 2007.  However, 33% reported plans to increase marketing budgets by up to 5%; almost 10% said their budgets will grow between 6% and 10%; and 7.6% expect to see budget increases greater than 11%.

Expressed as a Percentage of Revenue
Last year, the majority of global marketers—53%—had budgets that equaled less than 4% of revenue and 35% said their spend was between 4% and 10% of revenue.

Trade Shows and other events were ranked No. 2 behind “strategy and branding” on the list of top 12 areas that marketing dollars will be earmarked for in 2008.  While such a prominent position is certainly good news for show organizers, the ROI caveat remained in place.

The poll of the CMOC roster of more than 3,000 companies operating mainly on the North American market, found that 34% of the respondents planned to introduce an ROI measurement system in 2008.  ROI measurement “remains the top challenge in the year ahead,” according to 58% of the respondents.

One nugget found in the report was the growing concern over “guerrilla marketing” attacks on a brand’s reputation.  The CMOC said marketing executives are in a good position to counter such underhanded tactics and indicated that direct contact with customers was becoming an even more important factor in protecting a company’s image.

“What we are seeing is much stronger sensitivity to engage directly with customers and learn more about what shapes, influences and impacts purchasing decisions and intentions to do business.  The move to quantify “customer affinity” and increase “customer advocacy” has become a new measure of marketing effectiveness,” Neale-May wrote in the executive summary of the Marketing Outlook.

Reach Donovan Neale-May at (646) 652-5204 or

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