The Attitudes and Practices of Marketers at B2C Product Companies

June 27, 2017

Twice each year, Dr. Christine Moorman, a professor of business administration at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, conducts an in-depth survey of senior marketing leaders based in the United States. The CMO Survey is supported by Deloitte, the Fuqua School of Business, and the American Marketing Association.

The CMO Survey reports some findings by four primary economic sectors – B2C product, B2C services, B2B product, and B2B services. This breakdown provides a more granular view of the survey data.

Many of the customer served by Aprimo Distributed Marketing are product-focused B2C enterprises, so I thought it would be useful to share some of the results of The CMO Survey that pertain to B2C product companies. The published survey report does not provide a definition of “B2C product company,” but that sector would almost certainly include CPG companies and retailers. The most recent edition of The CMO Survey was published in February 2017. The discussion below is based on the responses of surveyed marketers who are affiliated with B2C product enterprises.

Here are some of the major findings:

  • Marketing Spending – In February 2017, respondents reported that their company is spending 12.4% of total revenue on marketing. That was up from 9.5% in the February 2016 edition of the survey. Over the next 12 months (through February 2018), survey respondents expect marketing spending to increase by 8.8%. The CMO Survey also reveals that B2C product enterprises are embracing digital marketing. In February 2017, respondents said they expect spending on digital marketing to grow by 12.1% over the next 12 months. Spending on traditional advertising is expected to grow by only 3.1% over the same period.
  • Online Sales – In February 2017, survey respondents said that 14.2% of their company’s total sales are made through the Internet. That was up from 8.3% of total sales in February 2016. This finding reinforces the results of other studies which have shown that online retail sales are continuing to grow rapidly.
  • Social Media Marketing – B2C product companies are heavily committed to social media marketing. In February 2017, survey respondents reported that they are spending 14.6% of their total marketing budget on social media activities and programs. The next closest sector is B2B services at 10.7%. Respondents expect social media spending to increase to 25.5% of the total marketing budget over the next 5 years. This level of commitment is somewhat striking given that only 27.3% of respondents said they had been able to prove the business impact of social media marketing quantitatively.

The CMO Survey provides a wealth of insights regarding the attitudes and practices of enterprise marketers in the US. It takes a little time to work through the survey findings, but it is time well spent. You can access the survey results here.

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