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Marketers’ Outlook on Consumer Spending Improves Since July 2019

Marketers’ Outlook on Consumer Spending Improves Since July 2019

Julian Zeng

illustration of line graph with sun and plants on each axis point

Marketers’ outlook sees positive growth, but that has yet to translate into expected increases in marketing budgets

The newest edition of the semiannual Marketers’ Confidence Index survey has shown considerable improvement in marketers’ outlook on consumer spending. Since the previous survey, released in July 2019, the MCI rose to a mark of 128 from 121, which had matched a three-year low.

Marketers' Confidence Index, January 2020

Across the board, marketers registered more positive viewpoints on the current U.S. investment climate, customer spending and confidence in marketing budgets. Sixty-five percent of respondents said it’s a good time for investing, and 47% of respondents said their outlook on the next six months of customer spending has increased, a marked improvement over July 2019’s 37%.

chart depicting marketers' confidence in the future of customer spending

Not much changed in terms of marketers’ expectations and perceptions about their organizations’ future performance. The percentage of respondents who anticipated increased revenue growth stayed level at 53% from July 2019. Assessment of current revenue growth performance and respective organizations’ customer-centricity also stayed fairly comparable. Once again, marketers exhibited excitement in the potential for AI, 5G capabilities, big data and other digital marketing innovations to positively influence the industry. Sixty-five percent of respondents predicted that the power and influence of the marketing function will increase over the next few years, with 7% predicting a decrease. This closely matches July’s respective results of 63% and 8%.

One notable area of improvement marketers identified is in their marketing team’s implementation of the right operating model to be competitive. Just 31% stated confidence in enlisting the proper people, structure and processes for that to be the case, while 39% recorded that they were not confident.

chart depicting marketers' confidence in marketing team responsibilities

Download the full January 2020 survey here.

The Marketers’ Confidence Index report is an online survey sponsored by Kantar and the AMA. Fieldwork for the January 2020 Marketers’ Confidence Index survey was conducted from Jan. 8-27. A total of 303 respondents participated, representing a range of marketing roles (C-level/board, 11%; EVP/SVP, 3%; VP/director, 30%; manager, 36%; other, 19%).

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Julian Zeng is assistant managing editor at the American Marketing Association. He may be reached at jzeng@ama.org.