Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and the American Marketing Association recently conducted their biannual survey  of nearly 3,800 chief marketing officers at Fortune 100, Forbes Top 200 and CMO Club companies. Some of the highlights of the survey include:

  • CMOs rated the US economy as a 63 on a scale of 0-100, up from a 56 in August.
  • CMOs expect to hire 50 percent more marketing professionals in 2011.
  • Social media ad spending is expected to increase from 6 percent of the marketing budget in 2010 to 18 percent over the next 5 years. Traditional advertising spend is also expected to increase by 2 percent.

So optimism is up, hiring is on the rise and marketing departments anticipate spending more.  The question for many of today’s companies isn’t “Where are the resources?” instead, it’s “How are we going to make the best use of the resources we have?”

If you’re investing more money in marketing this year, here are three important questions to ask yourself:

1.    Are you delivering a targeted message?   The rise in social media marketing is just one sign of the trend toward more personalized marketing. The benefits of personalization and locally relevant messaging can be achieved across digital and traditional media channels. Investments in local ad customization software solutions like BrandMuscle’s allow you to cost-effectively version ads for the smallest segments of your audience, delivering a message that’s powerful, timely and relevant, resulting in a higher return on your marketing investment.

2.    Are you hiring with a purpose?  Are you one of the CMOs who are planning to add resources in 2011? While adding to your staff can be a great way to increase your capabilities, first make sure you’re doing all you can with the resources you already have. Do you find that you’re wasting a lot of time versioning ads for all your different markets? Is your team responding to a lot of one-off requests from the field? Are staff members so inundated with tactical work that they have little time to focus on long-term strategy? If you’d like make your marketing operations as efficient as possible, take the time to explore BrandMuscle’s solutions for localizing ads and purchasing local media. You may find yourself doing more with less and possibly even save hundreds of thousands of dollars each year that you could invest into things that actually drive sales like buying more media and advertising.

3.    How quickly are you getting your message out?  As a marketing professional, you already know how important it is to deliver your message as soon as possible to remain relevant in today’s culture. Examine your marketing process. How streamlined is it? Ad builder solutions like BrandMuscle’s can save you valuable days, weeks and months by empowering your local stakeholders to create their own localized marketing. They’ll be able to take a piece of creative, plug in the right options for their market, and have an approved ad delivered in a matter of minutes, not weeks.

As the economy improves, most marketers will eventually find more money in their budgets. Make those dollars count by considering BrandMuscle’s local ad builder solutions. Request your personalized demo today.