Go Lean or Go Home: Marketers Face Huge Budget Cuts and Drops in Customer Loyalty if They Don’t Optimise Now

  • 74% of CMOs have already – or expect to – face cuts to marketing budget or team due to recession

  • 42% of marketers think customer loyalty will drop in the next 12 months

  • 40% of marketing teams struggle to prove ROI in the face of cuts, with majority feeling only partly aligned to their CEO

Seventy four percent of CMOs have either seen – or are facing – cuts to their marketing budgets. That’s according to new data from Customer Engagement Platform SALESmanago, which surveyed 250 CMOs in the UK to discover whether marketing needs to take a leaner approach as we head into recession.

The findings revealed that despite what we have learned in previous recessions, 40% of respondents said they still struggle to prove the ROI of marketing to the CEO and moreover, 63% think marketing could be leaner (more optimised). A worrying prospect when – at the same time – 42% of marketers think customer loyalty will drop in the next 12 months.

The relationship internally could also be improved, with the majority of marketers only feeling partly aligned with their CEO (46%), with one in ten not feeling aligned at all. Additionally, 75% of respondents feel that less than half of marketing output is directly aligned to a stated business goal.

The research showed that half of marketers say they have some visibility on customer data and trends, but feel it could be better. Additionally, nearly half (49%) either don’t – or don’t know – if they get significant and tangible ROI from their Martech investment.

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Greg Blazewicz, CEO and Founder at SALESmanago commented: “Marketing faces a perfect storm as business heads into recession. But instead of accepting its demise and being side-lined, teams need to prove they can get even closer to customers and encourage loyalty that will help their brand get well positioned for better times. A marketing revolution needs to happen, and quickly. Therefore adopting ‘Lean Marketing’ to be more efficient, more effective and more sustainable will be a smart move as we tackle these turbulent times head on. With this approach, marketers can prove ROI, gather insight into what the consumer really cares about and cut costs in the meantime.”

When asked which areas would be most impacted if budgets are cut in 2023, 68% of marketers say advertising/campaigns will be most impacted. This was followed by customer engagement (30%) and headcount (26%).

“Martech doesn’t need to be costly but it must be results-focused and transparent when it comes to ROI,” added Blazewicz. “Customer data is the new gold, and using insights to do more with less should now be the aim of all marketers. A customer data platform which brings all of this knowledge together is imperative at this time.”

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