2017 Marketers Confidence Index Reaches a Record High Despite Marketers' Concerns Over Misalignment of Organizational Investment and Priorities

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New 2017 Marketers Confidence Index identifies opportunities for CMO’s to better quantify ROI, drive a customer-centric culture, understand rapid technology changes and invest in insight analytics.

American Marketing Association Marketers Confidence Index

The Marketers Confidence Index shows a major shift in how organizations are investing and spending their time

While the Marketers Confidence Index revealed optimism in several key areas, there are some critical concerns leadership teams need to address and cannot afford to ignore.

The 2017 Marketers Confidence Index rose by 6 points from a year ago to 69 out of 100 possible points. Despite overall confidence in marketing increasing, 30 percent of marketers say they are more concerned that their organization is not investing in the right customers. This is a 13 decrease in confidence compared to how marketers felt one year ago.

The findings from the Marketers Confidence Index, a biannual survey released by the American Marketing Association (AMA) in partnership with Kantar Vermeer, measures the degree of optimism on the state of the economy that U.S. marketers are expressing through their organizational spending and growth.

The survey also revealed 32 percent of marketers had lost confidence in their team’s abilities to understand the ROI of marketing plans. That number is lower by 11 percent from one year ago, representing a sharp decline from one year ago, when the confidence was at 43 percent. Also declining was marketers’ confidence in whether their organization is investing in the right operating model. Only 25 percent of respondents felt their team had the right tools and processes in place, which is down by 8 percent from 2016.

“While the Marketers Confidence Index revealed optimism in several key areas, there are some critical concerns leadership teams need to address and cannot afford to ignore,” said Marc de Swaan Arons, Chief Marketing Officer and executive board member of Kantar Vermeer. “With technology changing the way customers engage, we all must harness the power of data and analytics as part of an integrated marketing strategy for growth, profitability and differentiation.”

The Index also shed light on areas where CMO’s need to better prepare for the future, including knowing more about new digital technologies, insights and analytics and how larger organizations can communicate as effectively as smaller ones.

The areas marketers are most excited about include new digital tools to support social media, personalization, marketing automation and augmented reality. Marketers are also hoping to more effectively demonstrate the added value of their marketing initiatives, especially around analytics, big data and innovation.

“This study shows a major shift in how organizations are investing and spending their time,” said Russ Klein, CEO of the American Marketing Association. “While marketers hold a positive outlook on their industry and organization, and anticipate higher budget, marketers need to see senior leadership know more about metrics and analytics for ROI and creating a customer-centric organization.”

Other key insights from the latest survey include:

86 percent of marketers under the age of 35 are optimistic about the power and influence of marketing in an organization over the next few years, while only 56 percent of marketers age 56 and older feel confident.

. 78 percent of younger marketers (35 and under) are confident that organizations should be making investments right now, only 59 percent of marketers age 36-45 felt now was a good time. However, this growing optimism from younger marketers has not yet resulted in growing budgets.

. Marketing budgets are ripe for growth. More marketers are expecting increased budgets in the next six months: 36 percent of marketers expect an increase, up 8 percent from Q2 2016. This is a stark contrast from January 2016, when 22 percent of respondents felt their marketing budgets would decrease.

. Marketing budget allocation has remained stable, but when it comes to budget cuts, 24 percent of respondents said they would reduce their media placement budget, but only 4 percent would cut their analytics budget.

The survey’s margin of error is plus/minus 4.7 percent at the 90 percent confidence level. The Marketers Confidence Index presents the findings of an online survey conducted by Kantar Vermeer in December 2016, among a sample of 304 marketers across the U.S.

To learn more about the American Marketing Association and the Marketing Confidence Index, visit http://www.ama.org, like the Facebook page or follow on Twitter. For more information on Kantar Vermeer, visit http://www.mbvermeer.com.

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Lauren Russ