Report: Pandemic Has Left Most Marketing Teams 'Completely Exhausted'

It’s been a brutal 18 months for just about everybody on the planet -- and the pandemic isn’t through with us yet. Marketing consultant Accenture Interactive is now out with a report that documents the impact of the pandemic on marketing organizations.

With input from 1,022 marketing executives in 19 industries across 19 countries, the report surmises most marketers are not prepared to effectively fulfill post-pandemic consumers’ rapidly changing expectations.

The study found that nearly 70% of those surveyed say the past year has “completely exhausted” their employees.

Meanwhile, 17% said their organizations have thrived throughout all the turmoil.

The report offers a handful of rules that have helped thrivers, including “reacquainting yourself with your customers.”

“Thrivers faced the truth that the customers they once knew are no longer the same,” the report states. “Thrivers know their old beliefs about customer preferences—and by extension, how they connect with their customers—are less relevant.” Thrivers are more likely to believe the challenges that marketing faces today are “fundamentally new.”



While keeping up with change has grown increasingly challenging in the digital age, the importance of doing so has grown exponentially during the pandemic, per the study.

“Thrivers are committed to making a wholesale shift to adapt everything they do—insight, data, engagement, responsiveness—so that change is the expectation, not the exception,” the report concludes. “It means moving away from committing to specific investments or campaigns far in advance, and instead, regularly revisiting plans and actions and revising them as necessary. A critical foundation for this is to have an operating model backed by technology capabilities that allow for rapid and smooth shifts. It is not about rushing; it is about being ready.”

You can access the full report, “The Great Marketing Declutter: Focus. Discard. Rewire,” here.

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