Looking ahead at the next 6 months, 9 in 10 US marketers are either more (46%) or as (45%) optimistic about industry-wide marketing conditions as they are today, according to results from the inaugural quarterly Forbes Insights/gyro CMO Index, with respondents overall rating their optimism a 13.6 on a 20-point scale, where 0 represents the most negative sentiment and 20 the most positive. Interestingly, with their budgets rising, marketers indicate that they’re focusing most on existing markets and product lines.
Almost 9 in 10 marketers said they are either increasing (39%) or maintaining (49%) their budget levels relative to 6 months ago, with an overall index score at a positive 12.7. (Separate data from Warc suggest that global marketing budget confidence has been generally positive for several months now.)
Rather than take those budgets and expand into new markets and launch new products, marketers appear focused on exploiting existing opportunities. A majority 55% of respondents said they’re spending the bulk of their time growing existing markets, while 29% are preparing to enter new markets and 16% are focused on growing in new markets. (The overall index for entering new markets was just 7.5, which counts as “negative sentiment.”)
Similarly, marketers are generally paying more attention to existing product lines than new ones. 58% are focusing on growing existing product lines and services, compared to 28% preparing a new launch and 14% reportedly prioritizing launching new product lines and services. That translated to an overall index score of only 5.8, a decidedly negative sentiment towards launching new lines of business.
- Business services (index of 15.9) and advertising/market research (15.6) respondents are most positive about conditions over the next 6 months, while retail (12) and aerospace/defense (10.7) are least optimistic.
- Transport/logistics (16.5) and advertising/marketing research (15.9) respondents are most bullish about budgets, with aerospace/defense marketers (10.7) again least optimistic.
- The overall staffing index was 12.6, reflecting optimism regarding new hires. Marketers in the energy/utilities/oil and gas sector were by far the least optimistic (9.2).
- Automotive (3.0) marketers are the most cautious about entering new markets.
- Travel and hospitality marketers (5.0) are among the least aggressive concerning the launch of new product lines and services. Aerospace and defense (14) is the only industry tracked scoring above 10.
About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 877 US marketers that closed in October.