Which Marketing Responsibilities Will Be More Important in 5 Years’ Time?

June 17, 2020

WFA Future Changes in CMO Responsibilities Jun2020Nine in 10 (92%) marketers believe that marketing is vital to the success of their business. Not only that, but a large majority (82%) also feel that the role of marketing is valued in their business, per a new survey [download page] of close to 700 leading marketers from around the world conducted by the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) and 2CV.

While these sentiments are positive, marketers are not resting on their laurels. The data suggests most are keeping their eyes on the future, rather than narrowly focusing on the short-term. Indeed, when asked what they considered most important, 85% cite long-term growth, compared to 15% who put more importance in short-term growth. Nearly two-thirds (63%) also feel that brand building is more important than sales and profits (37%).

So, what responsibilities do marketers currently have as part of their role, and how do they see these changing 5 years from now? Here’s what the survey revealed in some key areas.


Currently, fewer than 4 in 10 (37%) of the senior marketers surveyed say that sustainability is part of their role.

However, many consumers have reported that they are attracted to brands that are ethical, and that they should not only resource materials responsibly but also be transparent about where those materials are sourced. This commitment to sustainability can also be seen in the US, where younger consumers are making shopping decisions based on social and environmental principles.

With this in mind, a full 80% of the marketers surveyed say that sustainability will be more important to their role in 5 years’ time. The remaining 20% of respondents say that sustainability will be just as important in 5 years as it is today, with no respondents believing that it will decline in importance.

Digital Marketing Tech and Data Analytics

Digital marketing technology and platforms already play a part in the role of 6 in 10 (62%) marketers, and, in the years to come, three-quarters (77%) of marketers see its importance growing. This should come as no surprise, considering the influx of new digital marketing technology and platforms that continue to flood the market on a yearly basis.

With budgets for marketing technology on the rise globally and a majority of marketers using data from these technologies as part of their decision-making process, more than half (54%) of marketers say that data analytics plays a part in their role today. And, since using data in this capacity is likely to grow, 73% feel that data analytics will become even more important in the coming years.

Data Ethics

Although the majority of marketers already see customer insights (63%) or data analytics (54%) and as part of their role right now, only about one-third (35%) consider data ethics to be part of their purview. That said, when marketers look ahead 5 years, three-quarters (74%) see data ethics playing a more important role in their jobs.

This could stem from the introduction of regulations such as GDPR in Europe and, more recently, CCPA in the US. Consumers also feel that their data isn’t as secure as it once was. Added to that, marketers are concerned yet confident in their data compliance practices.

Customer Experience

Previous research demonstrated that customer experience is not necessarily always considered to be under the direction of marketing. Nonetheless, half (51%) of those surveyed say it is part of their current role, with 7 in 10 (72%) believing that it will be even more important to their role in 5 years’ time.

Other Highlights

To read more, the report can be found here.

About the Data: Results are based on a survey of 683 senior marketers from more than 30 countries.


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