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Gartner 2020 CMO Survey: Innovating in the known

Gartner released its annual CMO Spend Survey and Part 1 makes for some schizophrenic reading. Marketers are the most optimistic of the C-Suite lot. More than half believe in a “V shape” recovery with business as usual resuming within 24 months. This is at odds with CFOs and CEOs that are preparing for a long “U shape” journey back to some normality.

While 73% of marketers expect the COVID-19’s impact to be short-lived almost half are dealing with mid-year budget cuts, and a prospect for more. Events and campaigns are being postponed or cancelled. Commitment to agencies trimmed down. Media spend is being downsized. This is unsurprising given the battered demand in many industries and the need to preserve cash.

When it comes to sustaining growth, the focus is on existing markets: shifting existing inventory and selling products from the current portfolio. There is a glimmer of hope for innovation when 45% stated that they plan to introduce new products to their existing markets. They will do so through partnership, R&D and better meeting markets’ needs.

We’ve already seen other reports that show that Pandemic-induced consumer behaviour changes will be more lasting than fleeting.[1] This all begs the question on whether CMOs see the role of marketers as anticipating and preparing companies for such change, or to preserve the status quo.

Should CMOs invest more optimistically in innovation or focus on the near-term status quo?

Should CMOs invest more optimistically in innovation for a recovery, or focus on the near-term status quo?

Needless to say, at Flying Fish Lab, we believe (even B.C.) that change is constant so our Controlled Disruption approach helps you see these challenges from a fresh perspective in order to pave the right path for your company’s growth even in the face of uncertainty. Would you like to know more?

Talk to us at, or subscribe to our newsletter.

[1] Source: Euromonitor International COVID-19 Voice of the Industry Survey, July 2020


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