ABOUT THE REPORT
In 2022, our State of B2B Brand Building research found that B2B marketing leaders were re-evaluating the strategic importance of brand to their business. They understood the role that brand marketing could play in revenue growth, making brand awareness a top marketing priority.
But after a tumultuous year in which budgets were slashed and priorities shifted, is brand still at the top of B2B marketing leaders’ priority lists? Has economic instability weakened CFOs’ faith in brand marketing’s ability to drive growth? And how has the relationship between CMOs and CFOs transformed over the past 12 months, if at all?
Connect the unexpected and find out where there’s alignment between the two roles, where there are contradictions, and how B2B brand marketers can bridge that gap in our Closing the CMO-CFO brand value gap in B2B report.
SIX KEY PERCEPTION BARRIERS TO BRAND ALIGNMENT
"B2B BUYERS DON'T BUY ON BRAND"
A CLASSIC CASE OF 'PRODUCT DELUSION'
84% of CFOs believe B2B buyers will purchase the best solution, product, or price and not the best brand. Worryingly, 71% of CMOs agree.
IS OUR TERMINOLOGY WORKING AGAINST CMOs?
52% of CFOs disagree with the statement "brand marketing is a key driver of short-term sales performance". 77% of CMOs agree.
"BRAND'S IMPACT ON REVENUE GROWTH CAN'T BE MEASURED"
CFOs WANT TO BE SHOWN THE COMMERCIAL IMPACT OF BRAND79% of B2B CFOs state there are no reliable metrics to clearly tie brand marketing to revenue growth.
CMOs STRUGGLE TO DEMONSTRATE BRAND'S BUSINESS VALUE67% of CMOs have difficulty proving the commercial value and ROI of brand marketing. 72% of CFOs agree.
"BRANDS GROW THROUGH RELEVANCY, NOT REACH"
ACCOUNT-BASED MINDSETS COULD BE HOLDING US BACK
68% of B2B CFOs believe brands grow best through audience relevancy, not reach. More surprisingly, 54% of CMOs are of the same opinion.
"IT'S BETTER TO HAVE A SAFE BRAND THAN ONE THAT'S BOLD AND DISRUPTIVE"
THE RISK OF NOT TAKING A RISK
76% of CFOs believe that in B2B, it's better to have a safe, reliable brand than a bold, disruptive one. Thankfully, 55% of CMOs believe the opposite.
MISMATCHED EXPECTATIONS FOR CREATIVITY
CFOs say the number one business value of creative marketing is "building greater customer loyalty and trust", whereas CMOs believe it lies in differentiation.
"A STRONG BRAND PURPOSE INFLUENCES BUYER DECISION MAKING"
DIVIDED VIEWS ON THE PURPOSE OF PURPOSE
75% of CMOs believe B2B buyers are more likely to buy from businesses with a strong brand purpose in contrast to the 48% of CFOs disagree.
PURPOSE-WASHING IS WORSE THAN EVER
In a figure that's almost double last year's findings, 41% of CMOs say their brand champions societal causes mainly for commercial gain.
"BRAND HEALTH DOESN'T IMPACT BUSINESS HEALTH"
THE BRAND HEALTH VS. BRAND VALUE DEBATE
42% of CFOs don't believe the health of their brand has a direct impact on the health of their business, while 75% of CMOs believe it does.
LOW CONFIDENCE IN BRAND BUDGET GROWTH
Despite evidence showing the value of brand investment amid economic uncertainty, 50% of CMOs are "unconfident or somewhat confident" in being able to increase brand marketing budgets in 2024.
This study was carried out in partnership with market research company, Savanta, who surveyed a professional panel of 414 B2B organisations, split equally across North America (USA and Canada), Europe (UKI, France, Germany), and APAC (Singapore, China, Australia).
212 Chief Financial Officers and Director/Head of/VP-level Finance personnel and 202 Chief Marketing Officers and Director/Head of/VP-level Marketing and Brand personnel responded to a confidential survey in May 2023.
The research sample comprised 74% private ownership and 26% public ownership B2B organisations in a cross-section of industries, with between US$20 million and US1 billion+ turnover.
Transmission is the world’s largest independent global B2B marketing agency. Our full-service offering combines data-driven intelligence with the curiosity, creativity, and innovation to craft powerful, behaviour-changing engagement with audiences to create lasting impact and success.
Our team of B2B brand strategists draw on customer insight and the principles of behavioural science to inspire memorable propositions grounded in emotional truths and authenticity: building brands that deliver impact now and into the future.
With offices in eight countries worldwide, Transmission has the global agility and experience to help B2B brands drive the now and define the next.