Corporate Eye

State of Marketing 2012 – CMOs Weigh In

CMO Council logoCMO Council has released a new report, State of Marketing 2012, that analyzes marketing spending, chief marketers’ salaries, and more. To create the report, CMO Council collected data from more that 550 heads of marketing, communications, and customer engagement in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Overall, marketing and chief marketing officers (CMOs) performed well in 2012 and the outlook for 2013 is bright.

More than half of marketers reported increasing their 2012 budgets while another 25% saw no change in their 2012 marketing budgets compared to 2011. That means just one out of three marketers had to reduce their budgets in 2012. Similarly, half of marketers expect to hire new talent while only one in five anticipate reducing marketing staff. Unfortunately, 60% of marketers plan to make an agency change, and the firms most likely to get the axe are social media marketing, web design, and public relations firms. The reason cited by CMOs is that these types of companies, “lack innovation and value-added thinking.”

Despite the fact that agencies aren’t delivering the results CMOs want, CMOs, themselves, seem to be doing quite well based on the key findings of the CMO Council study:

  • Job Security: 89% of CMOs believe their jobs are secure.
  • Compensation Satisfaction: 39% are satisfied with their compensation, but 38% are not.
  • Salaries: 77% of CMOs globally earn a base salary of $100,000-$349,000.
  • Bonuses: 42% of CMOs expect to get a bonus and 31% believe it’s possible that they’ll get a bonus.
  • Perks: Many CMOs receive stock options, expense accounts, equity, privileges, and other perks as part of their compensation packages.
  • Career Advancement: Most CMOs believe that increasing their personal leadership and motivational skills are the best ways to advance their careers.
  • Professional Priorities: Most CMOs rank increasing collaboration with sales and/or channel organizations as a top priority.
  • Obstacles: Insufficient budget is the biggest frustration of CMOs followed by organization cultures that undermine marketing success.
  • Annual Goals: 82% of CMOs believe they can achieve the top mandate of senior management for marketing — top-line revenue growth and market share gains.

While the global economy continues to struggle, most CMOs seem to be doing just fine and appear to be quite positive about the coming year. What do you think? Do you agree? Leave a comment and share your opinion.

You can follow the link to download the complete 2012 State of Marketing report from CMO Council. An executive summary is available for free but the full report costs $199.

Image: CMO Council

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.