It's not just the boffins who are injecting us with good cheer – CMOs are too

Jeremy Lee
Jeremy Lee

Advertising appears to have proved its worth to clients during the pandemic

Along with Oxford/AstraZeneca and Pfizer/BioNTech, Campaign is shortly launching its own solidus, with a series of reports in partnership with R3 – of which one released next week will provide a shot in the arm as welcome as those Covid-19 vaccines that will help us get on with the rest of our lives.

The global survey of chief marketing officers makes for heartening reading at a time when some warm words of reassurance and a good bedside manner are very much the order of the day.

While we all know that some pitching has carried on – though imperfectly – during the pandemic, many marketers moved into survival mode, with protecting their businesses a higher priority than flirting with prospective alternative agency partners. The good news is that a third of those surveyed don’t intend to revert to promiscuity as we all crawl out from under the covers and business returns to some sort of normality.

This may come as a surprise, albeit a welcome one to incumbent agencies, given that, in the UK, AAR reported new-business opportunities were down by 44% in the first half of 2020 and many thought an easing of social restrictions would lead to an acceleration of pitches as clients sought to re-evaluate their marcoms needs in the post-Covid world to make up for lost ground.

Moreover, in further good news for the sector, our survey of chief marketing officers found that of all their partners, creative agencies were seen as the most valuable in terms of delivering clout to their marketing decisions; consultancies, which have been the source of panic for some time, come lower down the table. Perhaps this explains the reticence to emerge from the pandemic and put their ad business up for review. It seems to confirm that the ad industry has delivered itself well during the crisis.

So while we’re all clutching at snippets of good news, having endured nine months of untold misery and damage, this report should provide further succour. Reasons to be cheerful, part one.

The Campaign CMO Outlook is available to The Knowledge subscribers next week.

Jeremy Lee is premium content editor at Campaign

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