by Larisa Bedgood, V12
Nine in 10 (92%) marketers believe that marketing is vital to the success of their business. Additionally, a large majority (82%) also feel that the role of marketing is highly valued in their business. This is according to a survey by the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA).
Marketing’s role should be of particular value in today’s uncertain and evolving economic climate. With the pandemic’s effect on offline and online business and virtually every industry, marketing will play a critical role in helping businesses retain and grow their customer base.
While its’ great to hear that marketing is appreciated, marketing leaders are not looking to the future. Surviving in the short term is of immediate concern for many brands, however long-term growth is high on the priority list. According to the survey, when asked what they considered most important, 85% cited long-term growth.
In another report by Datorama, marketers also stated they were shifting their priorities to growth. In fact, 69% stated they were prioritizing growth at some level.
In the same study, marketing leaders also agreed that marketing plays a crucial role in the business, with 96% agreeing that marketing has a major role to play in driving ROI and growth for their business.
Current Marketing Roles
So, what responsibilities do marketers currently have as part of their role? According to WFA:
- Marketing strategy – 79%
- People management/leadership – 66%
- Brand purpose – 66%
- Consumer insight – 63%
- Digital marketing tech and platforms – 62%
- Creative strategy – 60%
- Business growth/development/strategy – 58%
- Data analytics – 54%
- Innovation – 53%
- Customer experience/centricity – 51%
Marketers feel that many of these areas will only take more precedence in the future.
According to the survey, “Our survey data also supports that things are moving towards customer centricity based on data insight, while marketing strategy, PR and pure sales growth take a back seat. Sustainability is the area seen to be most likely to grow in importance, followed by digital marketing tech and platforms, data ethics and analytics, customer experience/centricity and innovation.”
Digital Marketing and COVID-19
These survey results do not take into account specifically how COVID-19 has impacted current roles and the future of marketing. For many industries, there has been a radical shift to digital channels. As consumers have been forced to quarantine and businesses close their physical stores, digital engagement has become key.
For some brands, this move to online channels has come naturally but for many, it has been an extremely tough transition. Many brands did not have the infrastructure or talent in place to adapt their business model so quickly.
At V12, one of the first areas we saw impacted was the need for brands to get their customer and prospect lists cleansed and enhanced for online marketing efforts. Many of our clients had lists that didn’t have email addresses or had out-of-date information. Data cleansing and enhancement was performed as a crucial first step in getting out communications. Keeping first-party data accessible, clean and enhanced has been a key takeway for many brands during this shift to a more defined digital presence.
V12 also saw an uptick in interest for our Customer Data Platform technology. Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) perform a range of tasks that allow marketers to quickly put campaigns into place across channels.
A CDP enables brands to quickly perform tasks including:
- Data integration – ideally of both 1st and 3rd party data
- Creation of a persistent, 360-degree customer view
- Data enrichment using third party data demographics
- Integration with digital technologies to make it easy to unify, manage and schedule data flows for multiple channels
- Analytics to enable marketers to easily visualize audience segments understand KPIs
- Customer Journey management that engage uniquely at different stages, based on each individual’s behavior
Being able to quickly integrate customer data and deploy personalized journeys is key, not only during a situation such as the current pandemic, but moving forward in order to maintain a competitive edge as brands increasingly compete based on the experiences they can provide.
Many of these observations are in keeping with survey findings such as those by the WFA:
- 76% agree being customer led is more important than being product led
- 62% agree being data led is more important than being 38% creative led
Technology, data and insight, should support traditional creative methods in providing value to customers.
- 85% agree that a high level of data analytics and insight generation are important for someone working in marketing today
- 87% agree a high-level understanding of digital marketing tech and new platforms is also important.
In the future, digital marketing is only going to grow in importance and data will play an important role in order to develop a comprehensive customer view in order to provide personalized experiences. Marketing’s role is valued but marketers must continually adapt to achieve growth and ensure their brands maintains a competitive advantage.