Australian CMOs have cost cutting top of mind

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 21 October 2020

Two-thirds of Australian CMOs have been made accountable for reducing costs, according to data within Dentsu’s 2020 Global CMO study.

The survey of 1,361 CMOs around the world finds the number one challenge for leaders is understanding how COVID will lead to permanent changes to consumer behaviour.

Eight out of ten (80%) of Australian CMOs see their roles primarily responsible for delivering customer growth.

However, 66% now report they are also accountable for reducing costs.

Australia is the only market to list cost reduction in the top two marketing metrics.

dentsu cmo survey 2020

CMOs in Australia are feeling challenged by the economic outlook, with more than half (51%) anticipating a decline in consumer spend over the next six to 12 months.

One-third (35%) of Australian CMOs report their revenue has been badly impacted by COVID-19.

Australian CMOs report difficulty aligning their businesses around changing consumer needs quickly enough, as well as falling consumer spend.

Despite general advice that brands should not go dark during economic downturns, nearly two-thirds (62%) of global CMOs recount that their marketing budgets are forecast to decline or remain flat over the coming 12 months.

Australia ranks in the top three markets globally anticipating a decline in spend greater than 20%.

India, China and Brazil are predicting increase in their budgets.

The study also raises concerns that half (49%) of global CMOs concede they are basing their response to the coronavirus crisis on strategies that were pursued during previous recessions.

In Australia, one in five CMOs (20%) are using entirely new strategies; globally this number is reduced to one in ten.

However, the trends in data also show a new style of marketing leadership is emerging, with five key strategies setting them apart from the pack.

These are demonstrating:
1. Hyper-empathy: Developing superior consumer intelligence
2. Hyper-agility: Rapid development of new messaging, products and services
3. Hyper-collaboration: Integration across all elements of the marketing mix
4. Hyper-consolidation: Building resilience across brands and through M&A
5. Hyper-transparency: Ensuring purpose permeates all aspects of the business

Almost half (44%) of these Frontier CMOs believe the events of 2020 will have an increased importance of the marketing function, with marketing now more likely to be accountable for digital transformation, innovation and providing input and value to their organization alongside the full C-suite.


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