Dentsu Creative launches CMO report

The report reveals CMOs thoughts on brands, business, and creativity.

Each year Dentsu Creative surveys hundreds of CMOs around the world in order to understand what they are thinking about brands, businesses and creativity in communications.

The results shows a sense of empowerment. Marketers are turning to creativity and technology to tackle a series of challenges, from climate change to economic upheaval to geopolitical instability and polarisation

Yet amidst all these questions, CMOs number one concern is knowing and owning their customer in a world where it has never been more challenging or rewarding.

Patricia McDonald, Dentsu Creative’s Chief Strategy Officer, said: “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 behaviors, 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”.

The ”Creativity at a Crossroads’ report reveals how businesses, brands, and investment strategies compare with other CMOs.

It explores eight key themes and trends emerging from the data and what it means for brands and businesses.


The biggest concern now and in the future is owning and connecting with a rapidly evolving audience as they look beyond Gen Z to Gen Alpha, and what’s next.

  • 30 per cent of respondents chose ‘owning the customer relationship’ as their main concern for both 2023 and as they look forward to 2030.


Today’s CMOs demand experiences that connect technology and humanity.
87 per cent agree that brands today are built through experiences, and 88 per cent agree that it is essential that the customer experience matches up to the brand promise.


Today they are investing in platforms from podcasts to programming to engage audiences that are harder than ever to interrupt.

  • 79 per cent of CMOs agree that ‘in a world where advertising is easier to ignore, it’s more important than ever to entertain and engage.


They are moving beyond ‘purpose washing’ through campaigns to pivoting their business model to a more sustainable approach for a volatile world.

• 81 per cent of CMOs agree that their business will undergo a fundamental pivot in response to climate change while 78 per cent state that every brand should possess an ethical purpose or a socially conscious mission.


CMO’s are concerned over the polarised, even toxic, media landscape brands could be funding with their investments and eager to elevate more diverse voices.

  • 62 per cent are worried about the potential adverse consequences of their campaigns and investments on the environment and on society.


While they welcome efficiencies and are keen to experiment, there is doubt AI-generated content will ever truly touch the hearts of their customers.

83 per cent say that AI will enable human teams to take on more creative tasks, while 86% agree that it will improve efficiency.


 CMO’s don’t have time for silos or boundaries. They want their agency partners to connect the right talent at the right moment, wherever it sits.

  • 83 per cent believe brands benefit from consolidating their efforts with one agency holding company, acknowledging the power of the network in a data and technology driven-world.
  • Yet 85 per cent marketers also value the diversity of thought that comes from partnering with multiple agencies, calling out the flexibility and agility of local partners.

You can download the full report here