CMOs bullish about the future but not keen on launching new products

First Forbes/gyro CMO Index finds US chief marketing officers are investing in the future but cautious about growing in new markets

Chief marketing officers (CMOs) have a positive outlook over the next six months but continue to be cautious about entering new markets and launching products and services, a new report claims.

The inaugural Forbes Insights/gyro Index surveyed 876 US marketers and found 45 per cent are more optimistic about industry-wide marketing conditions, while 46 per cent are as optimistic about the future as they are today.

In addition, 39 per cent are increasing marketing budgets compared with 49 per cent who are retaining existing numbers. The quarterly poll was completed in October and based on respondents assigning a 0, 10 or 20 point sentiment score to each question.

One the issue of staffing, 54 per cent said they are maintaining existing employee numbers, while 36 per cent plan to add more staff.

In a sign of the continued caution in the market, however, 55 per cent of those surveyed are spending the greatest amount of their time growing existing markets, against 29 per cent who are preparing to enter new markets and 16 per cent who are focus on growing in new markets. The report authors said the overall sentiment score of 7.5 indicated a clear negative sentiment towards entering new markets.

The figure in perhaps unsurprising given industry-wide acknowledgement that customer retention is cheaper than new customer acquisition.

In addition, 58 per cent of respondents are focusing on growing existing product lines and services, while just 14 per cent are prioritising new product or services launches. The overall sentiment score was 5.8, again indicating the negative sentiment towards new product and service expansion currently.

Overall, Forbes and gyro, a global ad agency, assigned a 52.1 sentiment score to respondents for October. Across industry sectors, business services/legal/training and consulting gained the highest optimism score, while aerospace/defence recorded the lowest.

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