Facing global disruption, business upheaval and looming budget cuts, marketers must chart a sensible path through a devastating global viral outbreak. Yet, most chief marketers are having to make critical decisions without the support of real-time data insights.
The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council, which has 16,000 members in 10,000 companies worldwide, surveyed its members last week to understand the global pandemic’s impact on the global strategies, operations, budgets and outlook. Key findings show challenging times ahead for marketing leaders:
- 84 percent of global marketers expect the pandemic will multiply business disruption globally
- 90 percent expect to make changes to their marketing plans
- 66 percent said they don’t have enough real-time visibility and insight into the pandemic’s impact across both the demand and supply chains
- 69 percent are not satisfied with the quality, timeliness and usefulness of decision support data
“Companies with real-time visibility into supply and demand chains are better prepared to make informed decisions, as well as adjust, re-direct or moderate marketing activity,” notes Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council. “Unfortunately, not enough do, and so many are struggling to re-calibrate operations and spend.”
CMOs will have to make decisions the old-fashioned way, tapping into their experience and knowledge about the customer and market. To a large degree, they’re already doing this. Marketers feel they’re addressing customer consternation and concern extremely well (36 percent) or moderately well (56 percent).
Internally, CMOs said they’re faring even better. Two out of three said they’re safeguarding employees and support staff extremely well, and 27 percent moderately well.
CMOs also feel relatively confident about their company’s ability to weather the storm. Nearly 60 percent expressed moderate confidence in their company’s contingency, containment and recovery plans, while 31 percent are extremely confident.
Marketing budgets might not be so lucky. Nearly half of marketers are bracing for marketing spending cuts. Another 26 percent don’t know what’s going to happen.