A couple of times each year, about 4000 marketers at Fortune 1000 and Forbes Top 200 companies are surveyed about the future. This is the sixth in the series from CMOsurvey.org.

What’s encouraging to see is improvements in key business areas, including:

  • Overall optimism about the economy (while focused on the US economy, there are obvious flow-on effects for Australia and the rest of the world)
  • Customer interactions, including higher purchase volumes and better customer retention, are expected to improve
  • Broad financial and marketing KPIs are on the rise – indicating business confidence doesn’t just sit with marketing and brand
  • Marketers themselves will be in-demand with CMOs expecting to grow their teams by up to 50%

The report is very broad – which is great – but it means you will need to spend some time reading through and applying the data to your business. Think through your own strategic planning for 2011. Where are the correlations? Where are the differences? Why do they occur? Check, for example, slide 14 which investigates the top three reasons for growth strategy and see how closely they correspond to your own. Is there something you are missing? Is there something you can add to the execution of your marketing program this year? Can social media amplify this?

Most importantly, think about how your markets – your customers, partners, suppliers and other stakeholders – are moving. What are their futures. Use this information to make sure that those futures all intersect!