When it comes to business and consumer needs, the pandemic has changed things, in some way or another—whether minimally or significantly—for every brand out there.
Eighteen months ago, we compiled a mixed bag of research of how marketing leaders anticipated navigating the uncertain future, back when nobody was able to truly know the secret recipe for success. (Seriously—we had never, ever experienced a crisis like this in the age of digital marketing.)
During a recent panel discussion hosted by Reuters Events (Strategic Marketing 2021), we got the chance to talk with several marketing leaders to see what specific strategies actually worked for them and their big brands when marketing conditions and expectations were sent into an upheaval. They not only were tasked with figuring things out while being sensitive to customers’ needs, but they also needed to move swiftly while doing so.
The Hive9-led panel, “A Shared Experience: How the Pandemic Changed Planning, Creation and Dissemination,” uncovered a few key marketing strategies—authenticity, listening, creativity and preparedness—that proved successful when marketing success sometimes looked grim.
HubSpot and the MO Pros Community recently released a report covering the state of marketing operations professionals, bringing to light some key themes on current pain points and challenges.
Having surveyed 750 marketing ops pros across all levels of experience and from companies of all sizes, HubSpot and MO Pros found—among a multitude of other discoveries—that many marketing ops folks are looking to feel more understood at their organization, not get bogged down with time-consuming tasks, and break down silos that are hindering alignment.
“With constant requests for reports, growing responsibilities and being siloed from other departments,” the report says, “ops professionals don’t have the support and resources they need to scale and empower others with data.”Read More
Useful but impractical, handy but unwieldy, and trusty but untrustworthy, spreadsheets can be a polarizing tool for marketing management.
On the one hand, most marketing leaders have always used spreadsheets—it’s understandably what they’re accustomed to using, so why rock the boat? Investing in and learning the nuances of an unfamiliar product can be intimidating, especially when there’s a learning curve. It’s also important to note that spreadsheets can, indeed, get the job done just fine if there aren’t a ton of moving parts within the marketing organization.
However, the reality is that spreadsheets aren’t the most useful tool for every marketing organization—particularly the complex ones.
Here's an image that might be daunting, commonplace or old-school to you, depending on your stage of life or expertise in electronics: the back of an A/V receiver with a bunch of cables sticking into it.
From your speaker to your subwoofer to your HDMI to your Bluetooth to your translucent green Nintendo 64 (did we mention old-school?) connections, the A/V receiver is the operational backbone of all the components of your home theater system. Without it, all of your connections become a convoluted mess of cables without a home from which to function properly.
Now think of everything that encompasses your marketing performance management process.Read More
B2B companies are often struggling to meet their goals when it comes to the success of new product launches, according to recent SiriusDecisions research. In terms of reaching both performance and financial targets, 56% of B2B companies say that more than half of their new offerings aren’t up to par.
Underscoring the “enormous” costs of falling short in this area—from concerns about reputation to wasted dollars and time—the SiriusDecisions Product Marketing and Management (PMM) Model research brief suggests organizations lay out clearly defined steps to get all of their ducks in a row and better meet performance and financial targets.
Importantly, the PMM Model’s first three stages—discover, define and align—are generally centered on the crucial aspect of planning. The reality is that many product marketers, despite being allocated a hefty portion of marketing’s budget, don’t have enough of a say in marketing’s planning to begin with. Or, oftentimes, marketing plans are so convoluted that they’re not able to get a view into what’s going on anyway.
Over the past few years, research has been showing a decline in the average tenure of a U.S. chief marketing officer.
In fact, at 3.5 years—cites a new report from consulting firm Korn Ferry—the CMO’s tenure actually ranks as the shortest of all titles in the C-suite (CEO, CFO, CHRO, CMO and CIO/CTO). In comparison, the average for the CMO was 4.1 years in 2016.
The report, which analyzes the top 1,000 U.S. companies (by revenue), notes in particular that CMOs in the technology industry are ranking the lowest on average, with a 3.0-year tenure. At the top were CMOs in the industrial sector, coming in at 4.0 years.
Caren Fleit, leader in Korn Ferry’s global marketing officers practice, suggests the overall tenure problem could be tied to an organization’s deficiency in proving the true value of the CMO—i.e., “a lack of understanding of how powerful this role can really be in terms of driving business outcomes.”Read More
If you’re a marketing leader who never wants to hear the word “pivot” again, we apologize in advance.
Unfortunately, although marketing leaders’ ability to successfully pivot their plans has been especially crucial during the past nine months, not much is expected to be different going forward.Read More
If your marketing plans contain, well, just marketing plans, you might want to consider casting a wider net. Unfortunately, you may be missing other key information that could impact sales and the overall performance of your organization.Read More
The year 2020 has demonstrated why clear visibility into plans more than just once a year, half or even quarter is essential for marketing leaders. If you can’t see what’s happening in the first place, you’re not going to be able to adjust accordingly for sudden market changes.
Underscoring just how vital resiliency is when it comes to marketing planning, a recent blog from Forrester SiriusDecisions’ Meta Karagianni puts it this way:
“The ability to manage unplanned events and calibrate and adjust sales and marketing plans quickly is no longer a nice-to-have but a critical muscle B2B sales and marketing leaders must develop.”
At the start of the year, we took a deep dive into the concept of agile marketing and what it takes to adopt the approach for your marketing team: proper planning and training and, crucially, a collaborative and centralized planning solution (among other things, of course).
In a newly released Gartner report, the research and advisory firm underscores the importance of centralization, as well as the continued growth of agile practices. According to a survey of more than 400 marketing leaders, almost two-thirds of marketing teams are either “fully or primarily” centralized.
“CMOs are evolving their teams through increased centralization, more functional alignment and continued exploration of agile marketing practices,” Gartner says. “These changes are helping build more scalable, flexible and resilient marketing organizations.”
So, what does it take for marketing leaders to achieve this centralized approach?