An overwhelming majority of marketing leaders are optimistic about advertising's future, with nearly eight in 10 chief marketing officers (78%) investing more than half of their budgets in long-term initiatives focused on strengthening brands, according to recently-released results of a study conducted by market researchers GfK.
The findings of the survey, conducted globally among more than 600 senior marketing leaders in businesses with either annual revenue of more than $50 million, or more than 250 employees, show that in spite of ongoing economic woes, CMOs across most key ad categories are upbeat enough about growth in the current marketing climate to focus on building as opposed to just sustaining brands. That's promising for radio's top-of-funnel brand-building role.
“Marketing executives feel confident about what is to come, tend to invest in long-term brand building activities, and have few troubles securing their budgets,”GfK's report says. “[While] it would be tempting for marketers to focus on short-term marketing activities, experience shows that a strong brand reduces customer acquisition costs, improves customer retention rates, makes for more impactful product launches, and may protect margins even in times of inflation.”
The share of marketing leaders making long-term brand building a priority is consistently high, especially in key radio ad categories such as retail (74%), automotive, and consumer tech (76% each). “B2B brands are more willing to make long-term investments, [and] longer conversion cycles and smaller customer bases probably play a role,” the report says.
Fueling this process is CMOs' embracing of new technologies, when it comes to data analytics, real-time consumer insights and certainly AI. Nearly half of marketing leaders (45%) say they are already using AI, with 38% familiar with or using ChatGPT specifically. According to GfK, marketers working in larger companies are most familiar and more likely to be early adopters of new technologies than those in smaller firms.
“In recent years, market disruptions have shown us just how quickly buyer behavior can pivot, highlighting the need for real-time predictive data” NielsenIQ/GfK CMO Gonzalo Garcia Villanueva says. “The businesses that thrive in this environment will be those that can anticipate what’s coming next. It is notable that marketing leaders who say that their company has grown in the last three years and are optimistic get their insights faster than others. This indicates that successful companies are more digitalized and prioritize real-time insights for marketing.”