The pandemic has reshaped marketing landscape and strategies for several industries says The CMO Survey.

Deloitte, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, and the American Marketing Association recently surveyed nearly 300 Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) at US companies. As per the survey, consumers are now significantly more open to new digital experiences and offerings during the pandemic. This has led to broader shifts in marketing strategies and investments across industries, as marketers are adapting to a new and uncertain future.

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The pandemic has impacted the marketing strategy of all brands and has driven nearly 80% of CMOs to say that their customers are taking a closer look at company investments in social activism and outreach during than pandemic. In the long run, they are expected to reward brands that represent their values with greater loyalty. The majority of them also expect customers to focus more on “trusting relationships” in this crisis. Top marketing executives believe the increase in doing business online will continue even after the pandemic as consumers are becoming significantly open to digital offerings. The survey expects that digital marketing efforts will comprise for a larger share in the total marketing
spend, even if overall marketing budgets will be reduced by around 10% in 2021.

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Eighty-four percent of CMOs said they are using social media for brand building and more than half have used it for customer retention during the pandemic. The current crisis has already resulted in a 9% reduction in marketing jobs and the percentage is more likely to increase further. According to the survey, the majority of marketers considered themselves and their companies unprepared for the unexpected crisis. They are expecting to invest more in training to pivot skills, innovation, and managing uncertainty within their workforce.

Some of the marketers also said their organizations were not able to take full advantage of market research, customer acquisition opportunities or new collaborations. Meanwhile, others were too cautious to experiment with new strategies and approaches. The pandemic has been an opportunity for CMOs to demonstrate value to their enterprises, especially in industries desperate to rebuild engagement with customers at a time when in-person marketing is impossible. There will be an increase in investments in digital outreach and digital experience around values and more emphasis on creativity in the future if marketing firms learn from the decisions taken in the pandemic.

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