2015 BDO Retail Compass Survey of CMOs: Infographic & Full Report

In our tenth annual Retail Compass Survey of CMOs, we asked 100 chief marketing officers at leading U.S. retailers about their expectations for sales growth, promotional tactics, Black Friday and Cyber Monday results, priority marketing channels and more, ahead of the 2015 holiday shopping season.

Over the past 10 years since we began conducting the survey, we’ve seen tremendous changes in the retail industry.  For instance, CMO sentiment and spending outlooks during the past decade have reflected the market’s turbulence and major events. Ten years ago, CMOs were highly optimistic going into the holiday season, forecasting a 7.8 percent increase in holiday sales. Just two years later, in the midst of the recession, CMOs forecast a decrease in holiday sales for the first and only time in the study’s history. The realities of the recession appeared to temper forecasts, perhaps permanently. Since 2008, sales projections have not been higher than a five percent increase, and cautious optimism—in projections, inventory purchases and promotional spending—has consistently appeared in the survey’s results. 

This year, retailers were modestly optimistic entering the season, with a projected 4.2 percent increase in total holiday sales. Meanwhile, they’re continuing to focus on improving the shopping experience across channels. Retailers are looking to unlock the full potential of omnichannel and, for the first time in the survey’s history, we found that the majority of CMOs are leveraging mobile platforms in their holiday marketing strategies.

To learn more about retailers’ expectations for the holiday season, as well as their sales projections by the numbers, we encourage you to check out our latest infographic below. And for an in-depth overview and analysis of this year’s results, and a look back at the past decade of Retail Compass Survey of CMOs findings, read the full report here.