The Hidden Strain on B2B CMOs

Higher interest rates, inflationary pressures and a continued climate of economic uncertainty in the last year have hit marketing departments especially hard, typically viewed among businesses as a cost center to be reined in when budgets get tight.

According to a survey of chief marketing officers by B2B marketing community CMO Huddles and San Francisco-based PR agency Bospar, the current economic climate has many marketers facing challenges on several fronts: budget constraints, longer deal cycles and an overall increased pressure to deliver more with fewer resources. And it’s affecting them on both a professional and personal level.

More than two-thirds (69 percent) of marketing leaders said they were asked to do more with smaller budgets in the last year, according to the report, with more than three-quarters (77 percent) reporting flat or reduced budgets. More than a third (38 percent) reported budget cuts of at least three percent. On top of that, 76 percent said they were under more pressure to deliver pipeline results. More than half of CMOs (54 percent) also said they’re also experiencing longer deal cycles.

Additionally, half of respondents (50 percent) said their company has experienced layoffs in the last year, and 41 percent said they’ve experienced cuts to their marketing departments.

As a result, 61 percent said they felt that the last 12 months have been the most difficult year of their careers.

The Hidden Strain on B2B CMOs Study

More than two-thirds (69 percent) of marketing leaders said they believe their industry is currently facing a recession, 61 percent feel the country’s overall unemployment rate doesn’t reflect what’s happening in the marketing industry and 62 percent said they think the stock market’s recent gains are out of sync with their industry’s performance.

Professional impacts aside, CMOs claim the pressure has taken a toll on their personal lives as well. More than two-thirds (67 percent) of marketing leaders surveyed said the pressure of the past year has also impacted their overall well-being.

The report, “Underground Recession: The Hidden Strain on B2B CMOs,” surveyed more than 120 B2B chief marketing officers and heads of marketing between March and April. The survey was conducted by marketing agency Redpoint.