CMO Survey: Analytics More Influential, But Talent Lacking

Professor Christine Moorman discusses the biannual survey's latest findings

August 29, 2017
Marketing, Operations


Marketing analytics are influencing more business decisions, but most firms lack the talent to make the best use of the data, a new survey finds.

Marketing analytics -- measuring and analyzing marketplace activity and marketing performance to improve decision-making -- are employed in 37.5 percent of business decisions, but only 1.9 percent of firms say they have the right people in place to leverage the information.

These are among the latest findings from The CMO Survey. Conducted biannually since August 2008, and sponsored by the American Marketing Association, Deloitte and Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, it is the longest-running survey dedicated to understanding the field of marketing. The latest edition, conducted from July 18 to August 8, received responses from 349 top marketing executives.

Spending on analytics is expected to increase from 5.5 percent of marketing budgets to 18.1 percent in three years, though spending has changed little since 2012. This spending is also having a bigger impact on how firms understand the value of marketing.

"More firms are using quantitative tools to demonstrate the long-term impact of marketing investments," said Christine Moorman, a Fuqua professor and director of The CMO Survey. "The number remains low, but it has increased more than seven points since we first asked about it four years ago."

Marketing hiring is expected to increase 6.4 percent next year -- the largest predicted increase in two years. Firms in banking, finance and insurance report the largest planned hiring.

Outsourcing of marketing is also expected to increase over the next year, by 5.1 percent -- the highest increase reported in three years.

Spending on social media continues to grow, currently accounting for 9.8 percent of marketing budgets. Companies that sell directly to consumers expect to be spending almost a third of their marketing budgets -- 31.9 percent -- on social media in the next five years.
Investment in developing marketing capabilities has increased from 3.1 percent of marketing budgets in 2014 to 7.3 percent in 2017.

The CMO Survey found marketing budgets represent 11.4 percent of overall firm budgets. Marketing budgets grew by 6.7 percent since August 2016 and are expected to increase 8.9 percent in the next year. Spending on digital marketing is expected to increase by 13 percent over the next year, while spending on traditional advertising is expected to fall by 2 percent.

Other findings include:

  • Six percent of marketing budgets was spent on mobile marketing, expected to increase to 13 percent in three years.
  • "Being the voice of the customer at the leadership table" was ranked as the most important role for an effective CMO.

For more analysis of the results, including business-to-business and business-to-consumer breakdowns, visit

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