[Research Round-Up] B2B Highlights from “The CMO Survey” – The Impact of Marketing Analytics and “Working from Home”

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Source:  "The CMO Survey" (Christine Moorman, 2022)

(This month's Research Round-Up continues my review of selected B2B findings from the September 2022 edition of "The CMO Survey." In this post, I'm discussing what the survey found pertaining to the growth and impact of marketing analytics and "working from home" in B2B marketing.)

In last month's Research Round-Up post, I discussed some of the major findings in the latest edition of "The CMO Survey." "The CMO Survey" is directed by Dr. Christine Moorman and is sponsored by Deloitte LLP, Duke University's Fuqua School of Business and the American Marketing Association.

This research has been conducted semi-annually since 2008, and it consistently provides a wealth of information about marketing trends, spending and practices. I provided a detailed description of the survey in my earlier post, so I won't repeat that here.

In this post, I'll cover two more findings from the survey that I found particularly interesting. As in my earlier post, I'll be discussing the responses of B2B marketers exclusively unless otherwise indicated. The percentages and other numerical values in this post are the mean of applicable survey responses, also unless otherwise indicated.

The Growth and Impact of Marketing Analytics

"The CMO Survey" asked participants several questions relating to their investment in, and use of, marketing analytics. Respondents with B2B product companies said they currently spend about 10% of their marketing budget on analytics, while those with B2B services companies said they devote about 7% of their budget to analytics.

Spending on marketing analytics appears poised to increase. Respondents with B2B product companies said they expect to spend just over 15% of their marketing budget on analytics in the next three years, while those respondents with B2B services companies expect to spend about 13% of their budget on analytics in the same time period.

The survey also asked participants to rate the contribution of marketing analytics to their company's performance using a 7-point scale, where 1 = "not at all" and 7 = "very highly." Just over two-thirds of the B2B marketer respondents (67.6% of respondents with B2B product companies and 67.3% of those with B2B services companies) rated the contribution of marketing analytics at 4 or above.

These findings indicate that the B2B survey respondents had a generally favorable opinion of marketing analytics. However, other research paints a different picture.

For example, a survey conducted earlier this year by Gartner found that analytics only influences 53% of marketing decisions. Commenting on the survey findings, Joseph Enever, a Senior Research Director in the Gartner marketing practice, said, "By 2023, Gartner expects 60% of CMOs will slash the size of their marketing analytics department in half because of failed promised improvements."

The Extent and Impact of "Working From Home"

One of the most profound effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on business organizations has been the proliferation of remote work - a/k/a "working from home."

When the pandemic began in early 2020, many companies quickly enabled most of their administrative employees to work exclusively from home. Nearly three years later, many companies are using a "hybrid" model of work. While the specifics vary, they typically require employees to be "in the office" some number of days each week, but allow them to work remotely on the other days.

Remote/hybrid work and "return to the office" have been hot topics in the business media for the past several months, but most of the coverage has focused on these topics at the company or industry level. "The CMO Survey" provides several important insights about the extent of remote work in marketing and the impact of working from home on the marketing function.

Remote work appears to be fairly widespread in B2B marketing. In the September edition of the survey, respondents with B2B product companies reported that more than half of the people in their marketing organization are working from home all or part of the time. Respondents with B2B services companies reported that 57% of their marketing employees are working remotely all the time, and 49% are working from home some of the time.

"The CMO Survey" also asked participants about the impact of remote work on five attributes of their marketing organization. The following table summarizes how survey respondents described the impacts.

As this table shows, most of the surveyed B2B marketers do not think remote work has made their marketing organization less productive. In fact, significant percentages of the respondents reported that working from home has improved their organization's productivity.

The table also shows, however, that B2B marketers are concerned that remote work is having a negative impact on the culture of their marketing organization and on their ability to properly socialize younger team members.

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