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MARKETER ATTITUDES

Many US marketers believe their companies won’t take climate action

By our News Team | 2022

CMO Survey finds less than half of senior marketers think their companies will make short-term financial sacrifices for the environment.

Results from the recent edition of The CMO Survey conducted in the US examined three topics on the minds of many marketing leaders and stakeholders: climate; privacy; and spending.

Managing Climate Change

Only one-third of marketers surveyed reported that their companies have specific goals related to climate change. Fewer than half of marketing leaders (47.4%) believe their companies are willing to make short-term financial sacrifices to reduce their environmental impact.

Marketer Attitudes

Photo by Pixabay via Pexels

Examining changes over time, the CMO Survey finds that companies are less likely to take specific actions to reduce the negative impact of marketing-related activities on the environment than before the pandemic. In fact, nearly 40% of companies are taking no marketing climate-related actions whatsoever.

This trend may be driven, at least in part, by the fact that only 34% of marketers believe their customers or partners will reward climate-related action, and only 24.5% report that their customers are willing to pay a higher price for more climate-friendly offerings, the survey says.

Overall, trends regarding climate-related actions show that efforts to minimise the impact of marketing on the ecological environment have not increased for over a decade.

Managing Privacy Issues

Marketers expect a large increase in first-party data usage over the next two years (74.8% will increase use) that far exceeds that of second-party data (45.7%) and third-party data (30.5%). Furthermore, in 2018, only 11.4% of marketers predicted a decrease in their use of third-party data. 

This level increased to 17.7% – likely in the wake of Apple allowing its users to choose which apps can access their data and Google’s announcement that tracking cookies on the Chrome web browser will be phased out by 2023.

Despite this, marketers only rate their worries regarding privacy concerns surrounding third-party data at a moderate level – 3.8 on a 1-7 scale, where 7 = very worried. 

Notably, these privacy concerns have not meaningfully increased since 2018. This may be due, in part, to the fact that nearly two-thirds of marketers believe customers will stay with their current brand instead of switching to an alternative that offers more privacy protection. 

In contrast, over 90% do not believe consumers read or understand privacy disclosures. Despite this fact, marketers are still taking some actions to increase trust in their brands in the face of privacy concerns, including 63.1% promising not to sell customer information.

Analysing Marketing Spending

Yearly growth in marketing spending is soaring in the US. It has now broken 10% growth for only the second time in a decade and is predicted to rise even further over the next year to 13.6%, accounting for 11.7% of company budgets and 10.3% of company revenues. 

Considering these increases in light of the decline in marketing spending during the pandemic offers an even more dramatic view of the spending increases, the CMO Survey notes.

Digital marketing spending, which currently accounts for 57.1% of marketing budgets, is growing even faster. It is expected to increase 16.2% over the same period. Results show that marketers are spending on digital innovations (e.g., data analytics, optimising company websites, digital media and search, and marketing technologies systems and platforms) and improving their abilities to integrate customer information across platforms and channels. 

Furthermore, many companies are spending against the digital opportunities presented by the pandemic, including those delivering marketing technology solutions and those offering more products and services to consumers stuck at home during this period. Aligning with these opportunities, spending on data analytics grew by nearly 40 percent over the last year to become the most common investment by marketers.

Read the full results here.

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