Dentsu Creative’s 2023 Global CMO Report, ‘Creativity at a Crossroads’, reveals optimism from today’s marketing decision-makers in the face of change and challenge. Using data from a survey of 700 CMOs and senior marketers in the US, UK, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Italy, and Spain, the report identifies eight key themes which show that despite being an industry at a crossroads, it is one empowered by creativity and technology.
“Creativity at a Crossroads dives deep into the hearts and minds of marketers today. From embracing the ‘Frenemy at the Gate’ that is AI, to their resolute belief that advertising can be a force for good, this report shows that CMOs remain both optimistic about the future and committed to the transformative power of creativity, with 85 pc believing that creativity is a catalyst for economic growth, rising to 94 pc in the US,” said Julie Scelzo, Global Clients Chief Creative Officer, Dentsu.
Amidst volatilities of the modern world, such as climate change, inflation, and geopolitical instability, CMOs are focusing on the things they can control, says the report. Their number one concern for 2023, and as they look ahead to 2030, is owning and connecting with their audience in a world where third parties often seem to hold the cards, it adds.
Patricia McDonald, Dentsu Creative’s Chief Strategy Officer and lead author on the report, observed, “To own the audience, we need to connect in the spaces and places that matter most to them. The challenge is that audiences are changing: they have new expectations, new behaviours, and new values shaped by a deeply connected world. Their expectations have soared while their attention has polarised-they can dive deeper than ever into the things they love and find it easier than ever to ignore the things they don’t. So, brands must be built in new ways through experiences, through culture, and through action. The choice is simple: engage or be ignored.”
Amit Wadhwa, CEO, Dentsu Creative India, added, “Today’s landscape demands that brands navigate a complex web of audience attention, technology advancements, and societal shifts. In the midst of these challenges, where change and challenge intersect, the ‘Creativity at a Crossroads’ report delves into marketing leaders who emphasise the integration of creativity and technology. Now, in a world where AI threatens to steal the spotlight from human creativity, it is reassuring to see that a massive 73 pc of India’s marketers firmly believe that Generative AI will never outshine the boundless brilliance of the human imagination. Frankly, I couldn’t agree more. The report underscores this crucial juncture where creativity, technology, and strategic insights blend – setting the stage for an exciting future in the world of marketing.”
Written in collaboration with leaders across the Dentsu Creative global network, the report’s eight themes allow CMOs to benchmark their areas of focus against their peers, such as whether their investments in technologies and platforms are keeping pace with the industry, and whether they hold similar views on the fundamentals of marketing in 2023 and beyond.
- WINNING THE AUDIENCE
For 30 pc of respondents ‘owning the customer relationship’ has been their focus for 2023 and will continue to be as they look forward to 2030.
- AUGMENTED HUMANITY
87 pc agreed that brands today are built through experiences, and 88 pc agreed that it is essential that the customer experience matches up to the brand promise. To achieve this, they are embracing new interfaces from voice to gesture, AR to AI, blurring the boundaries between on and offline, content and commerce.
- CULTURAL CAPITAL
79 pc CMOs agreed with the statement, ‘In a world where advertising is easier to ignore’ and 80 pc agreed that technologies such as live streaming are blurring the boundaries between content and commerce as never before.
- PURPOSE GETS REAL
69 pc of those surveyed agreed that we have been so focused on purpose that we have forgotten how to sell.
- FUNDING FEARS
Marketers remain convinced that advertising can be a force for good and 81 pc agree that brands can use their budgets to amplify independent and diverse voices.
- AI: FRENEMY AT THE GATE
87 pc agreed that AI represents the future of advertising and marketing, while 81 pc agreed that customers will be prepared to pay a premium for human-created content. 75 pc believe that Generative AI will never fully replace the essence of human creativity.
- CONNECTED PEOPLE
86 pc wanted agencies and partners to connect the right talent at the right moment, wherever it sits inside the network or beyond, while 83 pc said brands benefit from consolidating their efforts with one agency holding company.
- THRIVING IN A CONNECTED WORLD
CMOs remain committed to the transformative power of creativity with 85 pc seeing creativity as a catalyst for economic growth.
The report can be accessed here.
Feedback: [email protected]