Marketing Leadership Benchmark Report
What does the future of marketing look like? What challenges do marketing teams face today?
We wanted to know. So, we asked.
And over 130 marketing leaders from across industries answered.Download The Insights
Who We Surveyed
The Modern Marketing Organization
In-house or outsource?
That’s a question a lot of marketing executives face when building out and scaling their teams.
Here’s how today’s marketing teams are approaching their in-house and outsourced talent…
The complexity of today’s marketing landscape necessitates the need for top-tier talent. Hiring is one of the most important skills for marketing leaders, because without a fantastic team, you won't be able to stand out in the crowded market.”
I think people are our most valuable asset – the technology, the media dollars, the messaging, etc. all need the right people to make them work. Prioritize attracting, hiring, training, and mentoring the best possible talent you can and as a leader, make this your #1 focus all the time. Through them, you will be successful.”
Once you find talent, nurture them, build a relationship, value their contribution so they feel accountable for deliverables and impact.”
Give [employees] the freedom to make decisions and execute on what you hired them to do. If they are less experienced in their role, ask them to bring campaigns and strategies to you 80% complete and work through the last 20% with them.”
With a small team, it's important to set goals that directly coincide with the overall company goals. All other marketing-specific goals can be prioritized from there.”
Recruit for team cohesion. The best performing teams are the sum of their parts.”
Current Challenges Facing Marketing
Talent. Forecasting. Lead generation. The challenges facing modern marketing departments should come as no surprise. However, the frontrunner – by a landslide – might.
Top Priorities for Marketing
How are marketers prioritizing themselves and their teams given these growing challenges?
Not in the way you might think.
When asked what priorities leaders were focusing on over the next 12 months, “team building and scaling” didn’t even rank in the top five, despite this being one of the biggest challenges leaders reported.
55% of respondents
46% of respondents
40% of respondents
The modern CMO must be strong at leveraging data to make data-driven decisions on strategy, messaging, and ROI and to show their direct impact and value on driving revenue growth. ‘Brand awareness’ is not enough.”
Less is more. Simplify your systems and messaging to focus on your highest propensity buyers.”
Don't stretch yourself too thin. Focus on a small number of problems and get them solved first.”
Curiosity didn't kill the cat, it leveled it up. Be open to new ideas and concepts – experiment – even when you don’t fully understand the concept.”
Skepticism in marketing is a good problem to have. There’s only one way to put those doubts to rest – smash that ‘send’ or ‘go live’ button now!”
Get more deliberate in using the right combination of martech tools and creative marketers to gain clear direction on metrics, and determine which strategies and channels are truly driving sales/marketing alignment.”
MarTech: The Technologies Enabling Today’s Marketers
We asked respondents to choose which martech they considered critical to generating pipeline. Unsurprisingly, automation played a huge role in meeting goals across the board for both small and mid-sized companies.
MarTech Spend & Confidence
Allocating and planning your marketing budget is vital for getting the resources, tools and headcount you need to achieve your goals. With a growing tech stack, many marketing teams are adding additional budgets around new technologies.
- 10-20% of budget allocated on martech this year
- 10-30% of budget planned for martech next year
You’d think that given this rise in spending that confidence in martech would be high. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
Most marketers inherit something they don't know how to use or fully scale. I built my stack from the ground up, so it's working for us at the moment.”
We are very diligent in not buying toys, but leave capital for experiments throughout the year. The result is that we don’t have more than exactly what we need to create, execute, measure, optimize and integrate with both sales/CS and on the platform.”
The challenge is not the tech stack. It’s the orchestration.”
I believe we may add a few new tools in the future driven by customer engagement preferences, but that will be short term. The bigger hurdle for now is streamlining and optimizing usage of the tools we already have.”
I don’t believe we are using our stack to its full capability – from segmentation to tracking to productivity. This drains resources and pushes our goals further out.”
It’s very hard to find tools that are the best in their category, but also work well with other tools natively. It’s especially hard if you don’t use Salesforce.”
Migrating is costly and a distraction. Without comprehensive integrations, maximizing the use of data is challenging.”
Ideally, we need a dedicated systems admin/CIO to maintain and fine tune our marketing systems – and to ensure they are fully aligned with our business needs and wider company systems. This is now probably a full-time role.”
It’s not so much of a problem with the stack, but a lack of commitment from sales to maintain data quality in the CRM.”
The Future of Marketing
Does the current state of marketing impact how leaders view the future of talent and technology?
Put simply, yes.
When asked what skills they saw as critical in the next five years to marketing’s success, respondents offered a mix of both hard and soft skills.
This isn’t too far off from the marketing teams we see today.
Future of Marketing