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We’re all flying blind

Research into CMO’s views tends to humour me more than enlighten. It mostly tends to be out, based on what I am hearing, by some order of magnitude.

The latest from the CMO Council falls nicely into both the humour and out by an order of magnitude category. Here are a few snippets:

  • 84 per cent of global marketers expect the pandemic will multiply business disruption globally. OK, so what are the rest thinking – there either in self-isolation on a mountaintop or in denial?
  • 90 per cent expect to make changes to their marketing plans. Again, what is the remaining 10% thinking?
  • 66 per cent said they don’t have enough real-time visibility and insight into the pandemic’s impact across both the demand and supply chains. That should be like, 100%.
  • 69 per cent are not satisfied with the quality, timeliness and usefulness of decision support data. Again, should be 100%. It’s not that the functions providing the data are failing, it’s just they are living with VUCA as well.
  • Marketers feel they’re addressing customer consternation and concern extremely well (36 per cent) or moderately well (56 per cent). “Feeling” isn’t a fact. What do customers think? The many marketers I’ve spoken to are struggling with how to communicate in a relevant and authentic way, and to scale communications when all the resources they depend on are shutting down.
  • Two out of three said they’re safeguarding employees and support staff extremely well, and 27 per cent moderately well. I’m hearing real concern amongst marketers for their people. Not in terms of whether they are communicating well or not, but rather, whether there will be jobs at the end of this.
  • Nearly 60 per cent expressed moderate confidence in their company’s contingency, containment and recovery plans, while 31 per cent are extremely confident. I’m seeing this skew massively by sector. In banking, high confidence – they are built to weather crisis like this. In travel and hospitality, much less so. In non-essential retail, 100% aren’t. The industry matters greatly. Homogenizing data produces a false result.
  • Nearly half of marketers are bracing for marketing spending cuts. Another 26 per cent don’t know what’s going to happen. Bracing for cuts is right up there with “hope as a strategy”. The best marketers I am talking to are taking a leadership stance in reshaping and remodelling budgets to reflect demand models and architecting a strategy for the next three months, and alternate strategies for beyond that. The budget should be a by-product of strategy.

Your thoughts?

To view an infographic on the data, click here.

 

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