Marketers Face More Pressures Than Just Marketing

According to the results from the 2014 Korn Ferry Marketing Pulse Survey, 80% of marketing executives see an increased spend on content marketing, as businesses are putting more dollars towards their marketing efforts. Conducted by the firm’s Global Marketing Center of Expertise, the survey polled CMOs and senior marketing executives from top U.S. companies.

The survey indicates, however, that there’s growing pressure among marketing executives to demonstrate that their work directly contributes to bottom-line results. 57% of CMOs cite the inability to directly connect marketing efforts to tangible business outcomes as the top factor behind low CMO tenure. Also contributing to high turnover among CMOs is:

  • The inability to align marketing deliverables with CEO objectives (17%)
  • The inability to drive organizational change (17%)
  • And the inability to deliver timely results (9%)

27% of marketing executives cite connecting marketing to bottom-line results as the top concern keeping them up at night. What plagues CMOs the most is the ability to create sustainable and engaging customer relationships while improving the customer experience (34%). Also, 27% say staying ahead and taking advantage of the latest digital technology trends is a main concern, says the report.

Caren Fleit, head of Korn Ferry's Global Marketing Center of Expertise, notes that “… marketing spend impacts over-all business outcomes, (but)

many CMOs are not focused on… keeping a majority of their focus on customer engagement… (while) customer engagement is critical and… a key focus… the overarching purpose of… this engagement is to drive business results… “

Helping to achieve that balance, 79% of respondents say their company plans to increase the use of predictive analytics and Big Data tools, which 39% find particularly useful for measuring the business success of creative programs. According to the survey, digital marketing and analytical thinking are the most sought after specialized skills within the marketing function, says the report.

As the industry faces a growing list of channels in which to reach customers, marketers must determine which ones will be most beneficial to achieving their goals. Aligning with the renewed emphasis on customer engagement, customer service broke into the top five marketing channels, ranked by CMOs, for 2014.

Most Popular Marketing Channels To Engage With Customers



Least Popular Marketing Channels To Engage With Customers

  • 1. Facebook



  • 12. Loyalty programs
  • 2. Online advertising



  • 13. Television advertising
  • 3. Twitter



  • 14. LinkedIn
  • 4. Events



  • 15. Print mailers
  • 5. Customer service



  • 16. Other employees

Given the added pressures and strategic responsibilities being placed on the marketing function, it’s more important than ever for marketers to work cohesively with other organizational functions to develop an integrated customer experience, concludes the report. According to the survey, respondents feel the biggest hurdles in achieving this goal are:

  • Aligning the various department strategies and priorities (43%)
  • Integrating the customer experience across all sales channels (26%)
  • Developing seamless messaging across different communication platforms (14%)

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2 comments about "Marketers Face More Pressures Than Just Marketing".
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  1. Rick Noel from eBiz ROI, Inc., August 20, 2014 at 7:40 a.m.

    Interesting data. I am surprised that the results don't mention email or search as most popular marketing channels to engage with customers.

    Was search included in online advertising? Social and display are great for building awareness and driving demand generation, but nothing beats email and search for driving conversions/revenue.

    In addition, search and email are highly measurable making it easy to tie campaign outcomes to the bottom top and bottom lines.

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, August 20, 2014 at 8:52 a.m.

    What is their ROI ? or combinations there of ? do 2 of them rival 3 of them for a particular product and then something else for another ? How much extra does it cost - anyone in particular ?

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