Some 8 in 10 global marketing leaders believe that the shift towards the self-reliant buyer in this digital-first environment has extremely (32%) or very (48%) much increased the value of marketing in their organizations. This is according to a report [download page] from CMO Council and Televerde that looks at marketing’s responsibility in meeting revenue targets and the challenges they face in doing so.
Perhaps in the expectation that the accelerated transition to digital and e-commerce that stemmed from events of last year will become permanent behavior, close to half (46%) of the marketing leaders surveyed expect e-commerce channels to account for at least one-quarter (26%) of overall revenue in the next 12 months.
These same marketing leaders say that, on average, marketing is responsible for 44% of their companies’ overall revenue. While only 1 in 10 are extremely confident that they are meeting their revenue targets, about half (49%) admit they are moderately confident they are doing so. Despite this, all respondents report that they and their team are under some pressure to deliver on revenue targets, with about two-thirds saying they are under extreme (19%) or very high (44%) pressure to meet those targets.
Challenges to Hitting Revenue Targets
The pressure that marketers are feeling to meet revenue targets is no doubt exacerbated by the internal factors that act as barriers to meeting these targets. Asked to name internal challenges they are encountering, respondents were most likely to cite organizational silos (30%) as being among their top 3 (from a list of 12), followed closely by measuring the full value of marketing (29%).
Some 28% find the scarcity of necessary skills to be one of their key hindrances to meeting revenue targets. Indeed, the shift towards digital-first has necessitated digital marketing skills such as data analysis, marketing automation and UX design.
Marketers were already feeling the challenge of providing the most impactful content assets along the buyer’s journey, and some 27% of marketing leaders say that misunderstanding the new buyer’s journey is one of the top challenges in reaching revenue targets.
Also, standing in the way for some is a lack of clarity regarding ownership of outcomes (22% selecting as a top-3 challenge), poor organizational agility (20%), lack of attribution (19%), slow technology processes (19%) and unrealistic expectations from sales (19%).
Measuring Marketing Effectiveness
Overcoming these challenges is important given that 7 in 10 respondents say that one of the top 5 components (from a list of 14) used to measure marketing effectiveness is revenue growth. Other core components used to measure the effectiveness of marketing include customer acquisition and profitability (55% selecting within top 5), engagement metrics (43%), and website and search engine performance (42%).
Although marketers put a lot of their energy into retaining customers last year, only 38% say that customer satisfaction and retention is a top-5 metric used to measure how effective marketing is performing.
But, how do marketing leaders think they are performing in the eyes of their CEOs? It turns out there might be room for improvement there. While about 4 in 10 say their CEO is extremely (12%) or very (29%) satisfied, the largest share (53%) believe their CEO is only moderately satisfied with their performance.
The full report can be downloaded here.
About the Data: Findings are based on a global survey of 150 marketing leaders.