digital marketing

Chief marketing officers plan to spend more on digital marketing in 2020

Chief marketing officers expect to spend on organic search, content marketing and email marketing, according to Chief Outsiders‘ “Market Trends 2020” report. Plus, marketers say tariffs and the ongoing U.S./China trade war will only have a negligible or a slightly negative impact on company goals.
Spending on digital marketing is expected to increase for 80% of chief marketing officers. Chief Outsiders is strategic marketing and management consulting firm specializing in executive insights.

The February 2020 report

The February 2020 report surveyed more than 50 chief marketing officers Chief Outsiders works with. All of them had experience with Fortune 500 companies and are now working at mid-sized businesses.

Marketers said they will prioritize their digital marketing spend on organic search, content marketing and email marketing, according to the report.

CMOs say organic search, content and email marketing will be prioritized for digital spending!
What are your spending priorities across these digital marketing channels? (Rank-ordered where higher figures represent a higher priority)

Source: Chief Outsiders, “Market Trends 2020” report

E-mail marketing?

Dollars allocated to email marketing specifically is a familiar trend. February 2020 survey of 105 online retailers by Digital Commerce 360 and Bizrate Insights stated the importance executives and advertisers place on email marketing as a method of reaching shoppers. 82% of retailers are saying that email marketing was in the two top most important strategies for improving conversion rate.

When it comes to what kind of emails are successful for brands, personalization is key, says Deana Thornton. She is director of commerce marketing for marketing automation and email marketing provider Mailchimp.

“Email marketing continues to be a consistent, driving force in conversion due to the low barrier to entry and high return on investment,” Thornton says. “With an average ROI of $52 for every dollar spent, email marketing allows any retail business to drive visibility of their brand and build customer loyalty with a one-to-one conversation.”

The Chief Outsiders study also found that “growth-minded” CEOs are using new technology. They try to innovate and begin to outsource marketing in an attempt to beat economic headwinds. This is one of the most important takeaways of their findings, says Pete Hayes, chief marketing officer and principal of Chief Outsiders.

“Marketing is not just about solving customer engagement problems anymore, but it’s about overall company growth,” Hayes says. “And for private equity, one of the biggest challenges—even bigger than a recession—will be finding growth-minded executives focused on strategy.”

CMOs plan to innovate and use new technology to beat any economic headwinds
What are growth-minded CEOs doing to beat economic headwinds? (Rank-ordered where higher figures represent a higher priority)

Source: Chief Outsiders, “Market Trends 2020” report

Deploying digital marketing strategies

According to Chief Outsiders, some of the greatest challenges chief marketing officers are facing when it comes to deploying digital marketing strategies include following. Technical knowledge of in-house teams, resource constraints in implementation and organizational inertia, which Chief Outsiders describes as “changing the way things have always been done.”

Resource constraints and organizational inertia marked as top challenges for digital marketing!
The greatest challenges to deploying digital marketing strategies in client companies are (rank):

Source: Chief Outsiders, “Market Trends 2020” report


The survey also found that chief marketing officers believe advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) will help them target and segment customers. Also, AI could assist them in the qualification and prioritization of new leads.

CMOs say AI will affect their marketing campaigns by helping them qualify/prioritize leads and assist in customer targeting!
What is the most important way AI (predictive analysis) will affect your marketing campaigns?

Source: Chief Outsiders, “Market Trends 2020” report

AI and automation are helpful when it comes to digital marketing. Reason? These tools can increase conversion rates, Thornton says.

“Automating marketing campaigns or messages based on factors like behavior, demographics and interests increases brand exposure and drives sales while decreasing the time business owners have to spend managing marketing,” Thornton says.

Automations specifically have helped marketers increase their average monthly revenue, according to Thornton.

Finally, the Chief Outsiders survey found that chief marketing officers were not worried about the impact of tariffs and the ongoing trade war between the United States and China. Most respondents are saying that any effects would be negligible.