Two-thirds of marketing leaders are planning to increase investment in content creation and other processes in 2021 in order to drive growth, according to a new study released this week by CMO Council.
During the last 12 months, the focus has predominantly been on driving cost-effectiveness and attempting to restructure in the wake of the pandemic.
However, it now appears that expansion is back on the agenda for marketers, as 65% are planning to boost spending this year compared to only 10% that are expecting budget cuts.
Overall, 64% are targeting growth and less than a quarter are planning to make changes merely to ensure business continuity.
A core area of renewed investment in the coming months will be cutting–edge technology, as 70% are set to leverage AI and automation to improve efficiency.
While leaders want to spend more, many recognise the need to work more effectively and trim costs in certain areas where possible.
Other popular objectives this year include optimising campaigns for both global and local audiences to increase awareness and reach.
The customer journey will also take precedence, a trend that has been identified in various whitepapers and reports recently.
More than a third want to improve data analytics to drive acquisition and conversion rates across digital platforms.
The report noted that priorities were similar for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
CMO Council senior VP for Europe Manuel Hüttl said that its members, 200 of which took part in the study, are talking regularly about revenue optimisation and improving ROI.
He added: “This means being more focused on digital marketing transformation, creating value from customer data and upgrading customer engagement and experience.”
The forecasted recovery in investment tallies with a recent study by Dentsu that said that global ad spend could return to pre-pandemic levels by next year.