An Economist Intelligence Unit survey of 478 senior marketing executives has revealed growing appetite for further transformation and restructuring of the profession.
The report, commissioned by Marketo, said marketing strategies must better support key business metrics such as revenue, customer experience and engagement. Twenty nine percent of respondents said urgent change is needed, while 80 percent said change must occur at some point soon. The results were consistent across a range of company sizes in B2B and B2C sectors. The survey found six key areas that will change rapidly in the coming years:
#1 MARKETING AS A SOURCE OF REVENUE
Management guru Peter Drucker once proclaimed marketing’s role was to make sales antiquated. The conventional wisdom suggests this is starting to happen as marketers dive deeper down the sales funnel. The perception that marketing is just a cost centre is set to dissipate as the profession undergoes a revival. According to the survey, four out of five companies will classify marketing as a revenue driver in three to five years’ time.
#2 MARKETING WILL LEAD CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
Customer experience is increasingly considered a competitive advantage across all sectors. A little more than one third of those surveyed said they’re currently responsible for managing customer experience while 75 per cent of respondents believed within five years, they’ll manage the entire lifecycle of customer experience.
How does your customer experience fare? Find out here: In the beginning there was the customer…
#3 ENGAGEMENT IS EVERYTHING
Among a marketer’s most proud moments is when they’ve achieved customer engagement goals. The report said 63 per cent of CMOs are focused on engagement around key touch points: customer renewals, retention and repeat purchases. The report suggests a shift is underway as marketers take a broader view of long-term customer engagement. It’s possible to build brand awareness, loyalty and engagement at all points in the customer life cycle.
#4 THE NEW MARKETER IS A MULTI-TASKER
The marketer of the future is a multi-tasker across the business. Marketers voting for urgent change in the survey said a variety of skills are needed, including digital engagement, data analytics, marketing operations, technology, and to a lesser extent, strategy and planning. According to the report, “in the battle between art and science, science has won. Digital, technology and operations are on top and creative is at the bottom. It’s not that creative doesn’t matter, but in most of the world and for most types of businesses it’s a legacy skill and no longer a focus of demand.”
Don’t take our word for it. Tune in here: Jodie Sangster on data, creativity and geeks in T-shirts
#5 DIGITAL AND DATA DOMINATE
The survey also revealed marketers’ plans for further technology investments. “Three of the four most widely cited investments are aimed at reaching customers through different channels: via social networks, on mobile devices and on the old standby of e-mail,” the report states. “Because so much interaction occurs through these channels, they are a rich source of customer data.” Currently, not even half of the respondents use data to gain insights and engage customers. However in three to five years’ time, 81 percent of the surveyed marketers believe the vast majority of marketers will use technology as a means of customer engagement to build brand advocacy and trust.
#6 FUTURE TRENDS: REAL-TIME PERSONALISED MOBILE, INTERNET OF THINGS
A little more than half of respondents believe the Internet of Things will completely disrupt marketing as we know it by 2020. This trend describes a world where ubiquitous, embedded devices with unique IP addresses will constantly convey data in real time. Almost the same number of CMOs cited the influence of real-time personalised mobile communications as the most significant trend to watch.