Economic Instability and CMOs' Sleepless Nights: A BrandKeys Survey Explains

A new survey by BrandKeys has come up to address concerns of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) and marketing managers. They were asked to express what keeps them up at night and worries them as a CMO or a marketing manager. This survey provides insight into the biggest reasons behind their worrisome sleepless nights.

As per the 2023 edition periodic survey, coming up on top of the list; the biggest reason is the economic concerns. Economic concerns include many reasons, the first being the issues that arose in the COVID era, and the effects and pressure which carried on post-COVID. The second issue that falls under the economic concerns cited is mostly bottom-line considerations resulting in stressful nights over the returns on marketing investments, corporate profits, budget cuts, and volatility.

The President and Founder of Brand Keys, Robert Passikoff presents an observation on the brand managers and CMOs having a plethora of pressure-treated terrors to face, especially due to the current rollercoaster of an economy post-COVID, eliminating any chance of a peaceful night of sleep. While consumer expectations, and integrating and managing AI tools also contribute to their sleepless nights, we have yet to address the top reason on our list.

Despite the economic concerns holding the number 1 spot on the list, many issues such as how loyalty has affected consumer behavior, budget cuts and managing cuts, assessing consumer attention levels, and failing to evolve along with their brand’s audience come very close. These contribute greatly to their stress and are one of the top six causes of their restless nights.

When such studies and surveys are conducted annually, it gives an incredible insight into the issues that arise within industries, what has been resolved since then, and how they are overcome. We have unique studies and results after the pandamic and the following years of recovery. For instance, remote work or work-from-home issues have decreased to 14%-15% in the past year even though lay-offs and lack of opportunities were the biggest issues back then.

Many items did not make the list this year confirming a sign of improvement. Therefore, there have been mixed feelings and reactions expressed by the marketing experts. Many experts believe that the top concern of marketers being the economy indicates that businesses are in the process of recovering from the impacts of the pandemic. Though economic concerns are the pillowcase under a marketer’s head, the pandemic has greatly heightened those fears in a way that we have not experienced before.

The survey results aim to better shape the marketing industry’s overall focus in the coming years. Companies are more likely to focus on these economic concerns and find a way to drive revenue growth and manage costs. Another significant priority for marketers is expected to be AI integration and ROI. The survey also highlights what a challenging environment we’re in now despite the ease in some areas due to the pandemic.

Businesses are greatly encouraged to continue finding ways to adapt, learn, and better the new changes that came their way this year, and CMOs and marketing managers to finally overcome these sleepless nights and better shape for the coming years while ensuring they meet their customers’ evolving needs.

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