Under pressure: CMOs feeling the push to prove short-term marketing ROI

The current climate is causing concern among CMOs that creative campaigns are to be curbed as budgets come under the microscope.

More than three-quarters of chief marketing officers are feeling the pressure to prove short-term return on investment (ROI) on their marketing campaigns.

A survey of more than 2,900 C-suite employees across the globe worryingly finds that leaders are prioritising cutting costs in marketing, advertising, technology and workforce talent as a result of the current economic uncertainty.

The research from Linked in reveals that four in 10 businesses are “financially preparing” for tough times, and this is causing 30% of CMOs concern that they will have to operate more reactively, and a similar proportion (31%) are worried they will need to curb creative campaigns.

Tom Pepper, Senior Director, EMEA and LATAM, LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, said: "Despite the evidence of the long term damage pausing ad spend can have on brands, marketing budgets are often the first to be scrutinised and tightened in times of uncertainty. Maintaining existing budgets and strengthening future ones is dependent on marketers’ ability to speak the language of the CFO, ask the right questions, and pull the right strategic levers that ladder up to business objectives.

“By turning data into information which demonstrates business impact, and nurturing relationships with important leaders like the CFO, brands will put themselves in a much stronger position now and in the future."

B2B survey: CFOs need better understanding of marketing ROI

A separate Linkedin survey, from YouGov, of more than 1,700 B2B marketing leaders found that the majority (90%) were convinced that improving a chief financial officer’s understanding of ROI was crucial to safeguarding future budgets.

More than two-thirds (67%) were planning to maintain or increase marketing spend in brand building in the next six months.

The research unveiled a strong belief in at least maintaining marketing budgets, even in the face of economic uncertainty. More than three-quarters (78%) believed companies that maintain or even increase marketing spend in a downturn actually recover faster. Indeed a study by LinkedIn’s B2B Institute found that when advertising was paused for a year or more, brand scales – regardless of the organisation’s size – dropped by nearly 50%.

New LinkedIn products for B2B marketers

The social media platform will be launching new tools and ad formats for B2B marketers across the globe in the coming months, including a new Revenue Attribution Report measurement tool, which connects CRM data to LinkedIn marketing campaigns to measure the impact of work on sales metrics.

Marketers will also be able to promote individual employee posts from company pages, and Click to Message Ads is a new services that will allow buyers to click on an ad and start a message with a brand from their LinkedIn feed, meaning that marketers can better guide potential customers through every touchpoint of the purchasing journey.