Reclaiming the strategic agenda

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TOKYO, Wednesday: A dentsu study of 1361 chief marketing officers across 12 markets (including 450 from Apac nations) reveals that, despite a challenging period, CMOs are reclaiming the strategic agenda with a particular focus on product development.

The study found that the number one challenge facing CMOs is understanding which consumer behaviours will change permanently and which will fall away in the post-Covid environment.

CMOs report that this is compounded by the difficulty of aligning the business around changing consumer needs quickly enough and falling consumer spend. 

dentsu NZ ceo Rob Harvey said: “Extraordinary times call for extraordinary thinking.  The economic downturn as a result of the pandemic has created an unpredictable environment for marketers to navigate.

“The dentsu survey highlights the risk CMOs face if they deploy existing approaches to manage new challenges.”

The study raises concerns that half (49%) of CMOs concede they are basing their response to the coronavirus crisis on strategies that were pursued during previous recessions. Globally, just one in 10 CMOs are looking at entirely new strategies. 

It also found that despite the general advice that brands should not ‘go dark’ during times of recession, nearly two-thirds (62%) of CMOs recount that their marketing budgets are forecast to decline or remain flat over the coming 12 months. 

Overall, the study recognises that a new style of marketing leadership is emerging. 

“Our local market has responded to the challenge. Among the uncertainty, we’ve seen positive impacts for clients who turned change into opportunity.”

Harvey said: “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.

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.

“It’s encouraging to see how our local market has responded to the challenge. Amongst the uncertainty, we’ve seen positive impacts for clients who have turned change into opportunity.

“Many have accelerated their digital capabilities as they continue to embrace digital transformation at an unprecedented pace to find new ways to engage consumers, build their brand and drive sales.

“It’s crucial CMOs remain agile, pushing themselves and their business to learn and adapt to kiwis changing needs and attitudes. As we step into the unknown, this is an exciting moment for CMOs and agency partners to champion innovation and position brands for growth.”

About dentsu NZ
As part of dentsu International, dentsu New Zealand is made up of leadership brands including Carat, iProspect, Vizeum, Isobar, MKTG, WiTH Collective, BC&F dentsu and Davanti. dentsu International helps clients to win, keep and grow their best customers and achieve meaningful progress for their businesses. With best-in-class services and solutions in media, CRM, and creative, dentsu International operates in over 145 markets worldwide with more than 66,000 dedicated specialists.

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