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Three in 10 marketing professionals say that one of the challenges they are currently facing is wasted marketing spend, per a new report from Albert and Forrester. So, what are marketers doing to turn this around?

One approach is considering bringing advertising efforts back in-house. More than two-fifths (42%) of the marketers surveyed for the report say they’re currently looking into the feasibility of bringing their digital media and creative in-house, while almost one-quarter (24%) say they are actually planning to leave their agency and manage these aspects internally.

There is a trend towards organizations taking their media and creative in-house, with ANA reporting that more than three-quarters (78%) of their members now have an in-house agency. Cost efficiency is one of the key benefits in-housing, according to the majority of respondents to the ANA survey.

Despite the financial benefits of bringing work back client-side, dumping an agency is far from being a problem-free experience. For example, as more creative is brought in-house, there is always the question of ensuring a smooth working relationship between marketing teams and creative. The relationship seems to be improving, although many creative teams report having low morale due to the demands placed on them to deliver at pace, as well as the volume of work they are expected to deliver.

About one-fifth (21%) of respondents said that while they do have an in-house agency, they are having difficulty in finding and retaining talent. A lack of skilled talent available to hire is something that Spear Marketing Group research also pointed out – the B2B sector is finding it particularly difficult to find marketers with specific skill sets, with about 12% saying that creative is one such skill set.

On the other hand, despite a shift towards in-housing, at the end of 2018, agencies believed they would see more growth in 2019 driven by customer insights and analytics, along with digital products and services. Countering this optimistic outlook, more recent data revealed that more than half (56%) of the North American agencies surveyed believe that it will be harder to win new business this year.

A Good Marketing Stack Supports Key Objectives

With close to 2 in 5 (39%) marketers claiming to add new technology to their stack quarterly, marketing spend can easily be wasted by not having an efficient marketing stack. However, having the right technology can help accomplish marketing objectives.

In fact, half of the respondents said that their marketing stack supports them very well in gaining more direct control over their digital media buying, while close to the same number of respondents said that it helps them very well to improve the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns. Marketing stacks are also doing a great job for some of supporting goals such as improving customer experience (43%), increasing customer retention (39%) and achieving a better return on marketing spend (36%).

The report also illustrates a hunger for tech that will take care of many marketing issues automatically. More than half (56%) said that solutions that provide autonomous orchestration, execution, optimization and attribution across devices and marketing channels would be very appealing, with a further 39% saying it would be somewhat appealing.

Other Challenges Marketers Are Facing

Wasted marketing spend isn’t the only marketing challenge organizations are encountering. Some 30% of respondents also said one such challenge is operating quickly enough, while 28% say that hiring, retaining and organizing staff was another challenge.

Technology also presents a challenge, with 28% of respondents reporting that duplication of technology or vendors has presented an issue. More than one-quarter (26%) also report that there is a lack of integration among technologies.

Dun & Bradstreet found similar findings within the B2B sector, with about one-third (32%) of B2B marketers naming integrating marketing and sales platforms as an obstacle to successful data-driven marketing.

To read more, download the report here.

About the Data: Forrester conducted an online survey of 156 marketing, customer intelligence, and eCommerce decision makers in the US. Survey participants included director, vice president, and C-level decision makers representing a range of industries.

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