Skip to content
2021 Digital Marketing Survey
1 min

Digital transformation. Check. Marketing execs focus on what's next.

by Jen Frost, Kalev Peekna, Ryan Horner, Ryan Schulz November 3, 2021

A lot happened in 2020. Ready or not, marketing execs were catapulted into digital. They had to find new ways to reach customers and conduct business–all with drastically reduced budgets and shaky resources. But they proved they could do it.

Now what?

After spending so many years focused on transformation, now that we’ve arrived, what’s next? How will marketing execs lead in this new landscape? What new goals are they setting? Will organizations continue to invest in digital, or will they revert back to the old way of doing things? One North took the initiative to find out.

2021 CMO Survey Respondent Profile

In conjunction with YouGov, we surveyed 201 US digital marketing executives with a goal of understanding how they are:

  • reexamining their strategies
  • recalibrating their resources
  • reevaluating investments
  • recharting their future course

We also aimed to further understand how the business and competitive landscapes have changed over the last 18 months, and what projections look like for the next 24 months.

There’s a lot to be excited about

Our research shows not only did marketers survive the pandemic, they thrived. Today, marketers are in a strong position for the future.

0 %
of respondents saw budgets increase in 2021.
0 %
report digital technology is working well.
0 %
say their organizations are open to change.

“Everything is digital now, and we need to move forward with that assumption.”

– Kalev Peekna, Chief Strategist at One North

Download the executive summary of our findings to learn more about what’s ahead for digital marketing execs, including:

  • how strategies have changed compared to 2020, and how they’re expected to change over the next 24 months
  • the impact that increased digital sales has had on marketing strategies and budgets
  • what the marketing mix currently looks like, and how it’s expected to evolve
  • how marketing and organization goals are changing in the wake of the pandemic
  • which external resources marketers are relying on to help them meet their strategies and goals
  • four key takeaways for marketers as they continue to push ahead

* Our research study surveyed 201 US marketing and digital executives and was fielded in July 2021. 81 percent of respondents have final decision-making authority for both digital tool and digital marketing hires.

**Clicking the link above will take you to a form that allows you to download an executive summary of our findings.

Jen Frost
Managing Director, Marketing

Jen Frost is Managing Director of Marketing at One North. She works closely with the Digital Strategy, Experience Design and Technology teams to develop and enhance One North client communication and exterior messaging strategy. In addition, she provides general marketing direction for One North and promotes internal culture.

Favorite season: Fall is my favorite season. Probably because I used to live in Massachusetts, and it is just beautiful there in the Autumn.

Favorite Chicago spot: The Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool hidden in the middle of Lincoln Park.

Kalev Peekna
Managing Director, Chief Strategist

Kalev Peekna is the Chief Strategist at One North. He brings a cross-platform, user-focused approach to innovations in brand development, design, data analysis and technology, and helps clients apply those innovations to their strategic aims.

If I were a vegetable: I would be broccoli. Because I have always wanted someone to call me “cruciferous.”

Most unusual job: Cocktail bartender at a Cabaret

Ryan Horner
Managing Director, Technology

As Managing Director of Technology, Ryan is responsible for overseeing One North’s strategy related to technical applications, systems and client implementations. He got his start at age seven, programming an Apple IIe.

Last thing you geeked-out about: This happens on a daily basis, oftentimes to the internet of things coming to life and novel uses of the technology-enabled sharing economy – or some combination of the two.

Most unusual job: I grew up on a working farm, so I’ve had lots of unusual jobs: baling straw, sweeping bins, cleaning a cattle barn, etc.

Ryan Schulz
Managing Director, Chief Executive

Managing Director, Chief Executive at One North, Ryan is responsible for helping to shape and grow design solutions for clients. He works across practices to develop programs and capabilities that help clients fall in love with the future.