CMOs on road to recovery, but challenges ahead: Dentsu survey

Understanding how Covid-2019 will lead to permanent changes in consumer behaviour is key

NEW DELHI: Today, CMOs find themselves at a critical juncture in determining the future of their brands. As they chart the course of recovery and rebuild their fortunes, they are facing a fresh set of challenges, a new survey by Dentsu has revealed.

The survey comprising 1,361 CMOs across 12 markets analyses how, despite a period of unforeseen disruption, CMOs are reclaiming the strategic agenda with a particular focus on product development. More than 450 CMOs from Australia, China, India, and Japan were surveyed.

The study finds that despite the general advice that brands should not ‘go dark’ during periods of economic slowdown, nearly two-thirds (62 per cent) of CMOs said that their marketing budgets are forecast to decline or remain flat over the coming 12 months. As a reference point, in Dentsu's 2019 survey 41 per cent of CMOs forecast this level of decline in their budgets.

Pessimism is running rampant in Australia as it predicts a significant decline (36 per cent) in marketing budget. Japan anticipates that budgets will stay flat (29 per cent vs global average 22 per cent). By contrast, positive sentiments are high in China where the budget is predicted to increase 56 per cent in the coming year.

But the number one challenge facing CMOs is not marketing spends, rather, it is understanding which consumer behaviours will change permanently and which will fall away in the post-Covid environment. CMOs report that there is the added difficulty of aligning the business around changing consumer needs quickly enough and falling consumer spend.

The report also flags concerns that half (49 per cent) of CMOs concede they are basing their response to the coronavirus crisis on strategies that were pursued during previous recessions. Globally, just one in ten CMOs are looking at entirely new strategies. In the Asia Pacific, nearly half (46 per cent) in India are using ‘completely’ similar strategies to those pursued in previous recessions, compared to 17 per cent global average. China once again bucks the trend, with only 6 per cent doing so.

However, exceptional times call for exceptional thinking, and a handful of resourceful individuals are staying ahead of the curve by cultivating a new brand of marketing leadership. According to findings, “Frontier CMOs” are well placed to manage the recovery and are doing so by focusing on a handful of key strategies that set them apart from the rest: 

Hyper-empathy: Developing superior consumer intelligence
Hyper-agility: Rapid development of new messaging, products and services
Hyper-collaboration: Integration across all elements of the marketing mix
Hyper-consolidation: Building resilience across brands and through M&A
Hyper-transparency: Ensuring purpose permeates all aspects of the business
Frontier CMOs are also significantly more likely to be accountable for digital transformation than other CMOs, proving their value and impact to company boards as they navigate the future of their business and industry.

“The Covid-2019 global health crisis has yielded an incisive economic downturn that creates an unknown and largely unpredictable environment for CMO's to navigate,” said Dentsu global CEO Wendy Clark. “However, we also see a new cadre of Frontier CMO's emerging who are leading their organizations into the unknown with confidence. These Frontier CMO's are reclaiming the strategic marketing agenda and, instead of buying into the idea that marketing’s role has somehow been denuded, they’re now leading their brands to recovery and growth.”

Dentsu Asia Pacific CEO Ashish Bhasin added: “With every disruption comes its own sets of winners and losers. It is crucial for CMOs to keep up with the new skills required in today’s new world to ensure success in the discontinuity. We are right in the midst of a change and this is exciting.”

Latest Reads
Brands celebrate Durga Puja as the festival of resilience

Durga Puja is a time when people come together in joy and celebration. The streets are chock-a-block with revellers, the night glows with colourful light displays, and the very air thrums with excitement and gaiety.

MAM Marketing MAM
JSW Steel Q2 net profit falls 37% to Rs 1,595 crore

MUMBAI: JSW Steel reported a net profit of Rs 1,595 crore for second quarter (July-September) of FY21, down 37 percent against a net profit of Rs 2,536 during the same period last year. However, it’s a far cry from the performance in the June quarter when it had reported a net loss of Rs 582 crore...

MAM Marketing MAM
Nestle India clocks double digit growth on the back of in-home consumption

NEW DELHI: Nestle India has clocked total sales of Rs 3,525 crore in Q3 2020 ending on September 30, 2020. Domestic sales as well as total sales grew at 10.2 per cent and the total profit during this period was Rs 587 crore. As a result, the company has announced an interim dividend of Rs 135 per...

MAM Marketing MAM
Dia Mirza and Ranveer Brar endorse Emami Healthy & Tasty‘s new cooking oil

NEW DELHI: Emami Healthy & Tasty has roped in actor Dia Mirza and celebrity chef Ranveer Brar for the digital campaign Ab Har Nivala Immunity Wala (Now every bite is rich in immunity) of their new cooking oil ‘Smart Balance.’ Zoo Media worked on the campaign, with FoxyMoron overseeing its...

MAM Marketing MAM
Flipkart acquires 7.8% stake in Aditya Birla Fashion

New Delhi: Flipkart Group has acquired a 7.8 per cent stake in Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail (ABFRL) for Rs 1500 crore. ABFRL has approved the raising of Rs. 1500 crore by way of preferential issue to Flipkart Group. The equity capital will be raised at Rs 205 per share. The promoter and promoter...

MAM Marketing MAM
Lifestyle celebrates Dil Se Diwali

NEW DELHI: Lifestyle has launched its festive campaign #DilSeDiwali, which encourages people to celebrate the festival of lights in their own way. Conceptualised by Wunderman Thompson South Asia, the campaign is particularly relevant in today’s context where everyone is looking forward to dressing...

MAM Marketing MAM
NortonLifeLock launches first communication campaign in India with Havas Group

MUMBAI: Cybersecurity company NortonLifeLock has launched its first communications campaign in India with the aim to create awareness amongst consumers to help protect their personal data.  The communication pivots on the fact that our data is now even more vulnerable than ever and ‘prying eyes’...

MAM Marketing MAM
Snapdeal targets low-end value shoppers in strategic shift

KOLKATA: It has been more than six months since the onset of the pandemic. While most businesses have taken a major hit, e-commerce has been have a rollicking time with a further boost projected during this festive season.

MAM Marketing MAM
Great Learning places a great bet on the IPL

NEW DELHI: The outbreak of Covid2019 has turned out to be a watershed moment for the ed-tech sector, encouraging brands to acquire new subscribers and expand their business verticals. Both professional and school-level courses have witnessed a spurt in takers during the lockdown period.

MAM Marketing MAM

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required