Apex Brands: What The Most Mature Marketers Are Doing This Year

Who said anything about a recession? A hearty 83% of global companies will increase their marketing budgets this year -- up from 60% in 2020, according to the 2023 Global Customer Engagement Review, a new study from Braze, conducted by Wakefield Research.

But many are still are in a recession mindset: 45% spent more than half of their budget on retention last year, compared to 41% in 2021 and 33% in 2020. In good times, companies typically increase their acquisition spend.  

Then there’s the data capability gap: 42% say their top challenge when using data is working with internal data scientists who don’t understand marketing priorities. And 38% cite a lack of data skills among marketing teams.

What’s more, 36% overall say that collecting, integrating, managing and accessing data is their top challenge.  



The study separates brands into two categories: Ace brands and non-Ace brands. Ace brands are top performers, known for lifeycle-centric customer engagement owned by cross-functional teams and built on streaming data, the report says.  

Among those polled, 78% of Ace brands exceeded their budget goals last year, and were 30% more likely to do so than non-Ace respondents. And 90% of the Ace brands say they will increase their marketing budget this year. 

What are Ace brands doing right? 

For one thing, they are 2.6 times more likely to have marketing people who meet with cross-functional teams several times a week. That is no small feat, as collaboration is poor at 28% of large companies, 16% of medium-sized ones and 21% of smaller firms.   

But siloes are only one problem -- another is data management. Of those polled, 80% of companies are collecting too much data. That’s true for 91% of U.S. brands, 80% in EMEA and 68% in APAC.  

Too bad -- only 15% of U.S. firms qualify, versus 23% in both EMEA and APAC.  

Meanwhile, Ace brands excel in these ways. They are: 

  • 66% more likely to use 3+ marketing channels.  
  • 30% more likely to use real-time data to power targeting. 
  • 23% more likely to have employees trained on customer engagement technologies and approaches. 
  • 21% more likely to build custom engagement reports for cross-functional teams. 

The results from all these practices? Ace brands have:

  • 23% longer average user lifetime 
  • 33% higher repeat buyer rates 
  • 53% higher sessions per user 
  • 20% higher buyer rates

Wakefield Research surveyed 1,500 marketing executives with a minimum title of vice president, working at B2C companies with an annual revenue of $10M across Australia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, UAE/Dubai, the United Kingdom, the United States.

The survey was conducted between December 9, 2022 and December 18, 2022.


Next story loading loading..