The results are in from the most recent iteration of the CMO Survey put out by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business marketing professor Christine Moorman. The long-running survey features a special COVID edition conducted in May this year and solicited the views of over 2,500 ‘for profit’ marketers, VP and above. Results suggest that as business revenue forecasts have been slashed as the result of the pandemic, marketing budgets have contracted at a smaller rate, making marketing’s percentage of firm revenues (11.4%) the highest in the 12-year history of the survey. Nearly 2/3 of marketing leaders said  that marketing has grown in importance within their company since the pandemic began.

As expected, marketers have turned to social and digital strategies to ‘push’ their way through the pandemic.  Nearly 2/3 of marketers are shifting resources to create better digital interfaces and more engaging digital experiences. Marketers believe these investments in digital offerings will pay off going forward as customers will likely continue valuing digital experiences with brands. In addition, more than half of marketers were ‘transforming’ their business models while 42% were expanding into new product offerings and 41%, building partnerships. Marketers have also bolstered their social media presence during COVID with a 74% increase in spend during the pandemic over February levels. Social was favored as a way to not just attract customers but also retain them.

The survey also found that marketers believe a growing number of customers (79%) acknowledge a company’s attempts to ‘do good’  which suggests that efforts to live and articulate brand/corporate values won’t go unnoticed. Likewise, the value of brand/brand trust ranks as a ‘top three’ priority for marketers in the next 12 months.

Obviously, the pandemic’s impact on business and markets varies wildly by industry. The survey breaks down the findings by industry and can be viewed by clicking on the link below.