CFO buy-in is critical for marketing success: LinkedIn research

Majority of C-suites in APAC are feeling under pressure to prove greater short-term return on investment (ROI) on their marketing campaigns, according to LinkedIn’s survey of C-suites globally.

Majority (74%) of C-suites in APAC are feeling under pressure to prove greater short-term return on investment (ROI) on their marketing campaigns, according to LinkedIn’s survey of C-suites globally.

Other findings of the survey are as follows:

    • This figure is higher in Singapore, with about 9 in 10 (89%) local C-suites feeling the pressure to do so.
    • This is as economic uncertainty forces businesses to do more with less.
    • Business leaders are prioritising reducing investment in marketing and advertising, along with technology and talent, due to the current climate.
    • The same study finds that 40% of businesses in APAC, and 45% in Singapore are financially preparing for tough times ahead, which is putting heightened pressure on marketers to prove business impact.

CMOs are concerned current climate will force them to operate reactively and curb creative campaigns

    • The same study found that globally, a third of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) are concerned that uncertainty will force them to operate more reactively (32%) and curb creative campaigns (30%).
    • This is a similar figure in the region – 33% of C-suites in APAC, and 40% in Singapore are concerned that uncertainty will force them to curb creative freedom to build memorable campaigns.

About 8 in 10 (82%) of APAC B2B marketing leaders, and 77% in Singapore believe companies that maintain or increase marketing spend during periods of uncertainty recover faster
According to a separate LinkedIn study of B2B marketing leaders:

    • While marketing budgets are being scrutinised, a global LinkedIn study of 1,700+ B2B marketing leaders highlights the importance of staying top of mind amongst audiences all the time.
    • More than half (58%) of B2B marketing leaders in APAC are planning to maintain or increase spend in this area over the next six months. This figure is 63% in Singapore.
    • 82% of marketers in APAC (77% in Singapore) believe companies that increase or maintain their marketing spend throughout economic uncertainty recover faster.

Majority (98% in APAC, 97% in Singapore) of regional B2B marketing leaders say improving CFO understanding of marketing ROI crucial to bolstering budgets

    • With CFOs facing incredibly hard choices in the coming months, they will naturally be a critical stakeholder for CMOs and their marketing teams. Maintaining existing budgets and strengthening future ones is dependent on marketers’ ability to speak the language of the CFO and now, more than ever, marketers need to master the language of effectiveness.
    • This is especially as LinkedIn’s B2B Institute finds that cutting back on marketing spend can potentially be devastating for brands, with a drop in memorability being far more costly in the long-term. The study finds that when advertisers paused advertising for a year or more, sales for brands of all sizes – whether small, medium or large – dropped by nearly 50%.
    • B2B marketers in APAC listed “having to do more with less budget,” “measuring campaign effectiveness and proving ROI of marketing investments” as biggest challenges in the next 6 months.

Prue Cox, Director Enterprise SEA & ANZ, Marketing Solutions at LinkedIn said, While we know the economy is in a state of flux, it’s important that marketers continue to invest in marketing as by pulling back investment, they risk long term damage to their brand. As marketing budgets are often the first to be scrutinised and tightened in times of uncertainty, it’s important that senior leaders can show ROI to their stakeholders.

Speaking the language of the CFO, to demonstrate an alignment of marketing metrics to business metrics, and pulling the right strategic levers, will help maintain existing budgets and strengthen future ones. By nurturing key relationships with important leaders, like the CFO, and using data as information, can demonstrate business impact and will put brands in a much stronger position now and in the future.”

Helping B2B marketers demonstrate impact, reach audiences in new ways

    • To help B2B marketers measure and demonstrate the impact of their campaigns, and continue investing in brand building to weather external challenges, LinkedIn will be launching new tools and ad formats globally in the coming months:
    • Revenue Attribution Report: This new measurement tool helps B2B marketers demonstrate business impact on the bottom line, and helps them implement more strategic plans in the future. The report connects CRM data to their LinkedIn marketing campaigns, and helps measure the impact of their work on sales metrics, like revenue won and return on ad spend.
    • New ad formats:
      • LinkedIn is launching a new ad format that will enable brands to promote individual employee posts, with their approval, from their company Page. This format will help them more effectively engage with their audiences, tap into the power of storytelling, and humanise their brand.
      • Click to Message Ads will allow buyers to click on an ad and instantly start a message with the brand directly from their LinkedIn feed. This helps B2B marketers better understand buyers’ intent and interest, and helps them to guide buyers through every touchpoint of their purchase journey.

LinkedIn commissioned YouGov to survey 2,929 C-level executives – including 494 CMOs – in Singapore and across the globe (United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Mexico, India, Australia, China, and Japan) from organisations with 1,000+ employees and an annual turnover of £250+ million during 27 September to 19 October 2022. The survey was conducted online.