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Blog post By Paula Chiocchi on 2024-05-29

The pressure on CMOs to prove the value of their investments keeps building. According to recent Gartner research, marketing budgets are shrinking, pushing CMOs to prioritize ROI more than ever before. Smart CMOs are navigating today’s digital marketing ecosystem by zeroing in on strategies that demonstrably move the needle. Here are some of my key takeaways from recent research as well as insight into what’s working best for our clients.


Budgets Are Down, But Media Spend Is Up

Gartner’s research findings show that marketing budgets in 2024 are down 15%, representing an even smaller chunk of overall revenue compared to pre-pandemic levels. Despite this, media spend has increased and now makes up as much as 27.9% of marketing budgets, with the use of digital channels escalating, including search, social advertising, and digital display.

With a smaller budget and high expectations, CMOs need to focus on channels that maximize revenue growth and ensure their ads are reaching real people. One of the best ways to reach real audiences that have shown an interest in what you offer is through intent data. Digital intent monitoring combines high-quality business contact data with digital intent signals based on online actions. Consider intent solutions that can target audiences deterministically and/or probabilistically based on content consumed on the website, not just website categorization. The best solutions will utilize precise targeting based on intent signal and the contact’s title, role, and level in the organization.

Using experienced, transparent, and results-driven media activation partners and services is also key. For example, OMI is at the forefront of intent-based, data-driven media activation, with services that put our clients in position to engage and activate the most accurate, targeted omni-channel audiences. Our approach to measurement is anchored in accuracy, allowing informed insights into the channels that are delivering the most impact – and those that aren’t -- and how to plan for future campaigns. We are also fully transparent about our processes and all associated fees. Clients using our services experience a strong boost in digital marketing reach and ROI. Read more here.


All Eyes on ROI

The 2024 Gartner CMO Spend Survey identified digital ROI as one of the top strategic and budgetary hurdles facing CMOs. The State of the CMO 2024 report from CMSWire supports this, noting 31% of marketing leaders say that “justifying budgets is a top challenge.” As a result, CMOs are leaning into data-driven strategies and focusing on strategic initiatives that drive meaningful outcomes–if they can measure them properly.

Many are increasing their investments in performance marketing as it emphasizes testing and measurement including clicks, conversions, and sales to ensure campaigns are optimized. With a performance marketing strategy, money is being spent on the advertising channels, audiences, and creative campaigns that are delivering the best results.


Measurement, Attribution and Trust Issues

The 2024 Digiday Programmatic Marketing Summit included closed panel sessions with many executives admitting they grapple with accurately measuring the impact of their campaigns and attributing success to the right channels. There is also a growing concern over the lack of trust in digital advertising, with issues like ad fraud and made-for-advertising sites clouding actual results. Cutting through the noise of ad fraud and low-quality traffic is essential for achieving real, impactful marketing outcomes.

When it comes to marketing vendors, agencies and partners, CMOs need transparency relative to fees, audiences, measurement, and outcomes. For ROI to be truly meaningful, marketers must ensure they are connecting with real people and generating honest, verifiable results.

With the many changes at play for marketers today, the number one priority for CMOs is demonstrating ROI. That means campaigns that reach real people and yield real, measurable results that justify the investment. Reach out to our team today for more details on any of the strategies mentioned above.



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