Marketers have had to rework their strategies as a result of inflation, but that’s not the only external market force that’s been an issue for them. A recent study [download page] from Emplifi, conducted by Forrester Consulting, finds that almost three-quarters of marketing leaders have found it at least somewhat challenging to confront changing customer demands.
This has been a struggle for some time, as marketers seek to better understand post-pandemic changes in consumer behavior. Beyond shifts in customer demands and inflation, two-thirds have found it at least somewhat challenging to respond to competitive pressure, while many have also faced difficulties with supply chain bottlenecks (64%), unexpected risks to brand/reputation (62%), and a lack of desired skills (62%).
As regards talent, respondents – consisting of North American marketing professionals in CX, marketing strategy, paid media, or social media marketing – seem to be taking a proactive approach. Some 31% report that they are hiring more growth/customer marketing professionals despite the role already being filled. An additional 30% are planning to hire more for the same role in the next year beyond existing filled roles, while a further 9% have yet to fill the role but plan to.
As such, 7 in 10 respondents are hiring or plan to hire growth/customer marketing professionals, the largest proportion among the various roles listed. That aligns with separate results indicating that two-thirds (67%) measure success via new customer growth, making this the leading metric, ahead of ROI (65%), customer retention (56%) and CSAT score (51%).
Meanwhile, a majority of marketers surveyed are hiring or plan to hire paid media professionals (64%) and social commerce professionals (59%), reflecting the priority that marketers are placing on growing revenue. Brand/reputation managers are also in demand, potentially as a result of the reputation risks that most respondents have felt, while social customer care professionals are also in the hiring plans for many.
In other highlights from the report:
- Some 36% of respondents are expanding their use of social commerce, and an equal 36% share are expanding their use of social media marketing platforms and suites. By contrast, only 1 in 8 (13%) are increasing their use of live video marketing/shopping.
- The biggest challenge cited by respondents as they plan their 2023 strategy is trouble integrating/consolidating customer data to create a single view of the customer.
For more, download the report here.
About the Data: The results are based on a survey conducted in August and September 2022 among 154 North American CMOs, marketing VPs, and directors responsible for CX, marketing strategy, paid media, and/or social media marketing.