Understanding customer needs is top priority for CXOs during Covid-19, according to ValueNotes Survey


– Companies cited understanding customer needs and identifying new growth opportunities as their top priorities for the next 3-6 months

– Despite these priorities, more than half the companies surveyed had substantially reduced marketing spend in the last quarter

– Over 60% of the respondents had resorted to either salary reductions or job cuts


August 2020: The pandemic is possibly the biggest economic crisis our generation has seen, and the closest comparison is probably the Great Depression. During unpredictable times like this, spending cuts are inevitable and more often than not, marketing budgets are among the first to be cut. However, marketing gurus will tell you otherwise – this isn’t a time to cut marketing spend, but a time to change how it’s spent.


ValueNotes Strategic Intelligence ran a survey between June and July of 2020, to gather insights on how Covid-19 was impacting different industries. 350 senior executives, from across the globe, shared the measures they were taking in response to the pandemic.


Some of the key findings of the survey included –

  • More than half the companies surveyed substantially reduced marketing spend in the last quarter
  • Over 60% had resorted to either salary reductions or job cuts
  • Companies were keen to understand how customer needs had changed, and were continuing to change. This was more so in consumer-focused businesses such as packaging, hospitality, travel, retail and healthcare.
  • Senior executives stated that identifying and capturing new opportunities quickly, and developing alternative go-to-market models through digital and/or remote sales, were key to their recovery strategy in the months to come


“One of the most interesting findings from our study was that CXOs are very much aware that their world has changed, and as a result – the biggest medium-term priority for businesses is to invest in understanding the changed customer needs,” said Arun Jethmalani, Managing Director of ValueNotes.


As forced shutdowns and stay-at-home orders continue to be imposed in many parts of the world, it’s no surprise that barely 15% of the companies surveyed believed that businesses and economies would return to normal before 2021. Rohan Dholam, Head of Research Solutions, added “The continuing uncertainty is keeping CXOs awake at night as they still don’t have clarity on when things might return to normal.”



A summary of the survey findings is available in our report titled Covid-19: Global Business Sentiment Survey, August 2020, which can be downloaded here


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