"CMO Barometer: What's on the minds of marketing managers in the new year?

The Serviceplan Group's "CMO Barometer" shows: crisis, sustainability and emotions are the topics on the agenda in the coming year.

In 2023, it will be human in the everyday marketing life of CMOs, as shown by the current answers of the "CMO Barometer", an international, annual study by the Serviceplan Group, in which more than 470 Chief Marketing Officers of the most important companies specifically assess marketing trends and exclusively share their expectations for the coming year.

The past few months have shown that the only thing that is certain is uncertainty. It influences brands, advertising and the daily work in marketing departments and will also determine the mood in the coming year. All the more exciting is the question of how CMOs are reacting to this and what is coming into focus in this situation.

Five key findings

Five key findings can be summarized from the responses of the 470 international CMOs:

- Sustainability, recession, and dealing with uncertainty will shape CMOs' agendas in fiscal 2023.

- The mega marketing trend is and remains sustainability. Behind it, there is a new focus on two aspects: emotional brand management and content creation.

- CMOs also deal with people and emotions internally. Because more than ever they are "people managers" and agile leadership, moderation and inspiration are part of everyday life.

- What will be even more important in 2023? Team spirit and culture, but also the basis must be right: CMOs are primarily concerned with the further development of the customer experience and digital transformation.

- Just as the respondents put agility and flexibility on their own agendas, they also demand it from their agency partners in their collaboration.

Sustainability remains the defining theme

When asked to name the top marketing issue for 2023, inflation and recession topped the list of open mentions at 22 percent, followed by sustainability and energy conservation (17 percent) and uncertainty and crisis (13 percent). Additionally, 85 percent believe Sustainability will remain most important in marketing trends for the coming year. Additionally represented in the top topics are Emotional Brand Building (83 percent) and Content Creation (75
%). What is striking is that this year these two topics have overtaken the technology trends of recent years - in other words, the focus is once again increasingly on content in communication.

Superpower "Man

What must a CMO be able to do in 2023? Here, too, the current uncertainty has left its mark: 19 percent consider agility and flexibility to be an important skill. Also 19 percent answer this open question with collaboration and facilitation of leadership and change. 15 percent think it is important for CMOs to be inspiring, visionary and motivating.

These are precisely the skills that are also among the central CMO tasks that are expected to become even more important in 2023: Promoting team spirit and culture, especially in hybrid teams makes it into the top 3. People are important in everyday marketing. Nevertheless, the technical foundation is important. Therefore, it will also be relevant that CMOs develop an excellent customer experience and consistently drive digital transformation.

Normal state Crisis mode

Pandemics, war, inflation and recession - at present, one crisis is piled on top of the other. This is also having an impact on the day-to-day work in marketing departments. Agility and flexibility are the success factors in these uncertain times and are named as the most frequent learning by CMOs (41 percent). But there is also a human element here: Improved leadership skills come in second (12 percent). In third place, the crisis mode makes itself felt again: Dealing with uncertainty is named by ten percent. CMOs also expect this from their agency partners: 23 percent declare flexibility and agility to be the most important agency skills. Especially in uncertain times, they want a sparring partner who can react quickly. Also important: customer orientation (14 percent) and that new trends and markets are recognized (13 percent).


More articles on the topic