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Stuart O'Brien

10 ways to make privacy your competitive advantage in 2022

New year, new start. Nigel Jones, Co-Founder of the Privacy Compliance Hub discusses why and how organisations must put privacy compliance at the heart of their strategy for 2022…

Apple has allowed iPhone users to choose whether they’re tracked by apps, DuckDuckGo is trying the same thing for Android, and even WhatsApp has updated its policy after a multi-million-pound fine. These are sure signs that ‘Big Tech’ is waking up to growing consumer concerns about data protection and recognising that privacy is fast becoming a competitive advantage.

According to Statista research, 54% of UK consumers say they’re now more concerned about their online privacy than a year ago. That backs up a previous study that revealed almost two thirds (61%) of UK consumers worry about how their personal data is being used by companies and 55% prefer to be anonymous when browsing online.

This is serious for businesses. Add increased security threats because of remote working and a new information commissioner who may be more ready to issue fines, and there are plenty of reasons to adjust approach and attitude towards privacy.

Here are my 10 top tips for putting privacy compliance front and centre in 2022.

1. Take stock of where you are

Start with an assessment of your current compliance – there are free online tools that can help you with this. This is also a good opportunity for some light housekeeping, such as checking that you’ve paid your annual data protection fee, whether you need to appoint a Data Protection Officer (and/or register that person with the Information Commissioner’s Office), and if your Record of Processing Activities (also known as an Article 30 Record), Record of Vendors and Partners and Data Retention Policy are up to date.

2. Map your data flows

It’s vital to have a clear view of the personal data that’s under your control. You need to know what data you hold, what it’s for, where it’s located, where it goes, how long you keep it for and what you do with it when you no longer need it. Data maps should cover all data processing activities and is a job for all departments. Gather representatives from all functions in one room (or on one video call) and talk it out.

3. Review existing privacy policies

Privacy notices are often copy and pasted from other sites with the names changed or drafted by legal professionals who have little idea about how the business they’re writing them for operates. Once you’ve mapped your data flows, take a look at your existing policies. Do they need to change or be updated? Don’t be afraid to start again. The objective is to be transparent about what you are doing with the readers’ personal data.

4. Consider the impact of hybrid working

Staff privacy and remote work policies may also have to be updated, in light of the shift towards hybrid working. Cybercrime has spiked in the past year, with experts pointing to weaker security due to home working. Are your employees using personal devices, saving files locally or using unsecure Wi-Fi? They could be putting your business at risk of attack.

5. Empower staff through regular training

When 90% of data breaches in the UK are down to human error, having a well-trained team is essential in the fight for privacy. This isn’t just an IT project – everyone helps protect personal information. Focus on what staff really need to know about privacy in their day-to-day work and tailor each session accordingly. Customer data can often be an organisation’s most valuable asset. By making compliance familiar to employees, they’ll feel empowered to make the most of it safely.

6. Tighten up your marketing communications

The ICO handed out £1.7m in fines for marketing breaches in 2021. It’s easy for members of the public to complain if they’re not unsubscribed when they ask to be, if their data is used for something they didn’t sign up for, or if they’re contacted without giving prior permission. If you are cold emailing individuals in a business context, you must have a lawful reason for doing so, such as ‘legitimate interest’. And of course, if anyone requests to be removed from a contact list, you must remove them immediately and add them to a marketing suppression list so they’re not contacted again.

7. Be careful who you’re sharing data with

You’ve put the work in to make sure you’re taking privacy seriously. But do the partners and vendors you’re sharing customer data with take it seriously too? Make sure you only work with safe organisations that have policies in place to protect personal information, that will only act in accordance with your instructions when they process that data, and that can respond quickly to subject access requests from individuals. Ask partners to complete a risk assessment questionnaire or do due diligence on their privacy practises before working with them.

8. Encourage leaders to be proactive about privacy

Culture starts from the top and leaders need to set the tone. Be clear with the team that you care about privacy, that it’s a priority, and that good behaviour will be rewarded. Give privacy a place in the boardroom, assign responsibilities for regular updates and set targets around it. This isn’t the responsibility of lawyers, it’s the collective responsibility of the entire organisation.

9. Appoint privacy champions throughout the business

Whoever holds responsibility for privacy needs to appoint privacy champions in each department because they will need a lot of help. Luckily this is a topic that people are genuinely interested in, particularly those younger employees that have grown up with technology facilitating every part of their lives. They want to work for ethical companies that take privacy seriously. Ask for their help; you may be surprised by who puts their hand up.

10. Create a culture of privacy by design and by default

Privacy compliance isn’t a one-off project that can be ticked off, or a new year’s resolution that will be dropped by March. Organisations looking to turn privacy into a competitive advantage need to create a culture of ongoing privacy by design and default. One where every time a new product or service or process is introduced, the question is asked – what does that mean for privacy?

Nigel Jones is the co-founder of the Privacy Compliance Hub, a former Google executive and head of its legal team for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Nigel has more than 30 years of legal experience advising companies on technology, data protection, privacy and the pragmatic steps available to cut risk, meet regulatory requirements and manage data breaches. Take your free GDPR health check today.

Mood, monotony and motivation: The keys to brand success

Team Lewis has launched its latest trends guide in partnership with market research firm GWI, looking into how today’s multi-moment audience is evolving and the changes the pandemic has brought about in today’s marketing multiverse.

Markets covered in the report include Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Malaysia, Netherlands, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, UK and US. 

With a rise in screen time and device ownership, unrestrained social media usage and growing concerns surrounding privacy, today’s audiences have an increased desire to impact the world around them. These shifts point to three key themes covered in the report – ending monotony to avoid marketing immunity, understanding how mood can impact an audience, and tapping into key motivators to foster more meaningful connections.  

Key findings include: 

Screen time 

o        Screen time continues to grow in most countries, with the exception of Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and the US   

o        Hong Kongers & Malaysians prefer to spend more time on their mobile devices compared to PCs, laptops and tablets

Device ownership 

o        Globally, audiences own at least three devices   

o        Malaysians on average own fewer than three devices but spend the most time on the internet globally. The US, UK, Germany and Italy are above the global average when it comes to device ownership.

Social Media usage 

o        APAC countries use an average of four platforms daily  

o        Western Europe has the lowest usage, with fewer than three platforms daily

Attitudes towards privacy 

o        Globally, the top concern amongst consumers is how companies use their personal data online (39%) followed by a preference to maintain anonymity online (34%)

Today’s marketing landscape 

o        Leading channels 

  • The website is still king – 56% visited a brand’s website in the last month   
  • Newsletters are still effective – 26% read an email or newsletter from a brand  

o        Expectations of consumers 

  • Global consumers unanimously want brands to be reliable, authentic and innovative 

o        The rise of Audio 

  • In the last three years, there has been an increase in consumption of music streaming services and podcasts 
  • Australia & Singapore are seeing the most growth in music streaming and podcast listenership YOY  

o        Scepticism with social media 

  • Only 23% of consumers globally think social media is good for society 
  • Malaysians are the most positive about social media, with 40% seeing it as a force for good 

“It’s no longer as simple as getting in front of your audience with a single message as many times as possible,” said Simon Billington, Executive Creative Director at TEAM LEWIS. “Consumer expectations of a brand’s interaction with them is clear. They want unique, attention-grabbing creativity delivered in a personalised way. The complexity of message and the vehicle the message is delivered in is paramount to success.” 

Download the Marketing in 2022: Multi-Moment Audience report here.

Marketing departments ‘rely on outdated data and analytics practices’

The majority of marketing departments still rely on outdated practices when it comes to marketing data and analytics, according to a new report.

Of the almost two-thirds of marketers surveyed by Adverity who believe their company is analytically mature, some 77% have yet to achieve a single unified view of their marketing performance while 68% still depend on spreadsheets for reporting.

At the same time, although 61% of marketing departments see developing predictive analytics as a key strategic aim in 2022, more than a third of those still struggle with manual data integration and some 48% say they do not trust the accuracy of their marketing data.

Conducted by Sirkin Research, the report surveyed almost 1,000 marketers and data analysts from around the world about their current data capabilities and aspirations for 2022.  Alongside businesses’ aspirations for predictive analytics, the research also revealed a worrying disconnect between analysts and marketers when it comes to understanding what their business’s current capabilities are.

For example, 60% of marketing data analysts say their organization already has the capacity to run predictive models, and yet only 42% of marketers agree. Similarly, although the majority (59%) of analysts say their company has a centralized data warehouse, only 43% of marketers say that’s the case.

“While the confidence of marketing departments in their analytical capabilities is commendable, that so many businesses are actually still struggling with the basics tells a very different story,” said Adverity CMO, Harriet Durnford-Smith.

Jeff Sirkin, CEO of Sirkin Research, added: “Yet, it’s the marketers who are actually the ones who should be utilizing those capabilities to make decisions and determine where budget is spent. If they don’t know what their company’s current capabilities are, this not only hinders their effectiveness, it is also a waste of money for the business. As such, bridging this divide should be a top priority for CMOs in 2022.”

The new research comes on the heels of Adverity’s “Marketing Analytics State of Play 2022: Challenges and Priorities” research report, which outlined the pain points facing modern marketers and data analysts–most notably, a lack of trust in the data. This new report builds out further how marketers can reflect on the challenges that they currently face and helps to identify solutions that will provide guidance for how to prioritize modernization in 2022.

UniFida launches CO2 Counter for ‘greener’ marketing

UniFida has launched a CO2 counter in the UK that enables companies to gauge the environmental impact of their marketing campaigns.

The new CO2 Counter supports ‘greener’ marketing, where companies focus on the sustainability of their marketing activities. It calculates the amount of CO2 (carbon dioxide) released while setting up a campaign via any marketing channel and reports on the amount used once a campaign has been completed

Big companies will soon be legally required to commit to, and report on, sustainable business models, but the onus of responsibility will rest with all companies spending significant amounts on marketing communications, both online and offline.

Julian Berry, Director, UniFida said: “Given the increased global focus on carbon offsetting, especially following the COP26 conference, there is increased demand for sustainable marketing. With UK marketing activities expected to have released around 350 million tonnes of carbon in 2021, the CO2 Counter is an essential online tool. It enables companies to measure the environmental impact of their marketing activities across online and offline channels.”

UniFida says there are two areas of the marketing process where the CO2 Counter can bring benefits:

  • Before launching a campaign, the counter can show how much carbon will be produced, giving marketers the opportunity to offset or plan a different approach
  • With historic marketing activities, marketers can evaluate each campaign and channel’s performance and how much carbon has been released for what benefit. This can help steer future ‘greener’ marketing initiatives.

Marketers can access the CO2 Counter online and, for example, use it prior to catalogue production, inputting the number of pages, size, print colours, paper type and quantities. Or for an email campaign, they can input the number of recipients and whether the email has a video attached. Carbon usage is then calculated and the results displayed.

The CO2 Counter – a cloud-based technology– has been developed by Trinity P3 in Australia and is being distributed in the UK by UniFida. Trinity P3 has used a large number of data sources to develop the counter, with much of its work reviewed by the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.

One day, two great events for marketing professionals

There’s a place for you at this May’s co-located Digital Marketing Solutions Summit and Print & Digital Innovations Summit – Make sure you register today!

Your pass includes; a corporate “speed-dating” itinerary of relaxed one-to-one meetings with new innovative and budget-saving solution providers, a seat at our industry seminar sessions, networking opportunities and lunch and refreshments throughout.

Regarding the recent Government announcements in retrospect of the current climate, there has been no changes to the way businesses need to run intimate, 1-2-1 meeting events like this one.

We will continue to monitor this and ensure that all health and safety measures are in place at all live events including; use of masks, perspex meeting screens, hand sanitiser and social distancing. – Live and Virtual attendance options are available.

Digital Marketing Solutions Summit and Print & Digital Innovations Summit has been merged so that you can maximise your connections and save time by accessing them all in one day.

Date: Wednesday 11th May
Time: 08.00 – 16.50
Venue: Hilton London Canary Wharf (E14 9SH)

Don’t miss out on sourcing the latest tech to ensure the smooth running of your upcoming event. Areas include: Print Management, Lead Generation & Tracking, Integrated Marketing Solutions, Multi-channel Engagement, Packaging and Labels, Digital Print, Landing Page Optimisation, Google Ads, Augmented Reality, Social Media, Online Advertising, Web to Print, Content Management, Mobile Advertising and so much more.

Confirm your attendance here via our online booking forms;

Digital Marketing & Solutions Summit online form

Print & Digital Innovations Summit online form

Alternatively, if you have any questions, then please do not hesitate to contact us anytime.

Do you specialise in Lead Generation & Tracking? We want to hear from you!

Each month on Digital Marketing Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on different parts of the print and marketing sectors – and in February we’ll be focussing on Lead Generation & Tracking solutions.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help marketing industry professionals find the best products and services available today.

So, if you specialise in Lead Generation & Tracking and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Clair Wyld on c.wyld@forumevents.co.uk.

Here’s our features list in full:-

Feb – Lead Generation & Tracking Mar – Email Marketing April – Digital Printing May – Social Media Jun – Brand Monitoring July – Web Analytics Aug – Conversion Rate Optimisation Sept – Digital Signage Oct – Brochure Printing Nov – Creative & Design Dec – Online Strategy

5 ways marketers can optimise their lead generation activities  

Lead generation is one of the key pillars of a successful business, yet many still report wasting time on ‘bad leads’ that never convert.  For marketers working for small and medium sized enterprises in particular, it’s often a familiar story: how can efforts be optimised to ensure a limited budget goes the distance?  

Christelle Fraysse, CMO of cloud-based CRM vendor Workbooks, reveals five strategies to help marketers boost the outcomes and ROI of their lead generation activities… 

  1. Become data-obsessed

As marketers, we have access to a lot of data. But too much data will only lead to more questions than answers. Becoming data-obsessed is not about collecting as much information as possible, it’s about collecting the right, high-quality information to serve your purpose – to better engage your audience, for example.   

The first step towards optimising lead generation activities is to therefore consider what data is being collected and why. There should be two main focuses when collecting data: demographic and behavioural.  

Demographic data is important to truly understand the ideal customer profile for your business. This could include what the organisation looks like, the size of the business, the industry it operates in, where it is located, and the people within it (your core personas, job roles, seniority levels, interests, and whatever you feel is relevant for better targeting and segmentation). 

Behavioural information is also key and this includes what your prospects and customers are doing, how they are engaging with you and your content, what channels they are using, and what topics are resonating with them.  

The combination of both demographic and behavioural information becomes extremely powerful. It can be used to take personalisation to the next level, and it allows tailoring of communication during the qualification process and beyond to ensure relevant and timely outreach.  

  1. Grade and score your leads

Not all leads are created equal. Does a lead sit within your target audience and is it right for the business? Is this contact ready to engage with sales or is it too early? The quality of the lead may not always be good enough and this is often the main source of tension between sales and marketing departments. The sales team may feel leads are lacking in quality, while the marketing team say leads are not being qualified or followed up on in an effective, timely manner. Lead scoring and grading can address this and add value. 

First, sales and marketing teams must work together on the rules and principles that help to define a ‘good lead’ and ensure time is being spent targeting those of most value to the business. A lead must be graded directly against what your business’s ideal customer profile looks like. Upon collecting data, it is easier to make a direct comparison of the two and ensure a focus for both sales and marketing teams on those closest to the ideal profile.  

The second element is to score leads on behavioural information. If a prospect views a blog, it shows some engagement. However, if they also visit the pricing page, this demonstrates greater intent and higher scoring, and – if attending webinars – even higher points can be awarded, as it shows commitment. 

Grading leads creates opportunities to nurture them in a bid to upgrade their status. Score them and get them to engage until sales-ready, approaching them differently to those who have shown more interest and intent.  

  1. Work collaboratively with a common language

The relationship between the sales and marketing departments is often not the easiest to manage. The reality is that without a solid understanding between sales and marketing, the ability to generate quality leads is vastly limited. Is there a common understanding and agreement around what constitutes a sales qualified lead, a marketing qualified lead, and an opportunity entering your pipeline?  

Both marketing and sales teams must work on building this relationship by having regular meetings to ensure there is a shared agreement on goals and approach, and that a consistent language is used across departments. Without agreed definitions or consistent management of leads through the sales funnel, the business will be held back. The two departments must not simply co-exist. When collaborative working processes are introduced properly, that is when value will truly be created and the quality of leads will increase. 

  1. Track everything

As a marketer, you should track everything you do. In a number of organisations, marketing is still perceived as a cost and it’s essential to shift this perception and become known as a revenue generator in your business. Often, marketing budgets are in the firing line when cuts occur, but once you track and demonstrate value it allows the marketing team to be seen as an equal contributor. This will result in more trust and, potentially, access to a larger budget for future activities.   

The whole prospect and customer engagement process should be monitored and tracked, from the first click on the website, to the sales funnel, and the final closure. Visibility of when a deal closed and where marketing contributed to initiate or further the engagement and move the opportunity along the sales funnel, demonstrates value to your organisation and changes perceptions. This can help to fuel better relationships across departments and improve sales figures as teams work together.  

  1. Test, test, test!

The importance of testing should not be underestimated – refining your activities will maximise their value. For example, using AB testing on email layouts to see the impact on click-through rates can help to optimise the best email format, subject headers, and sender information. The same for landing pages on your website. Again, this comes back to data collection. The more data you collect and the more this is analysed, the better the return on marketing activities. 

Unlock value with CRM 

Access to high-quality data and insight is needed for marketers to optimise lead generation activities, whether you are a larger organisation or an SME. At the heart of this is a robust CRM platform.   

According to a survey by Workbooks, the main driver for a CRM initiative for 52 per cent of companies was to better manage data and gain insights. Yet many businesses are still failing to use the technology properly to unlock its true value, with only 47% of CMOs having a framework for data collection 

With the right CRM, it’s possible to optimise and transform marketing campaigns, segmenting and targeting them to the individual needs of a high-value list of prospects based on relevant, real-time data.  

Using shared tools across the business ensures a single view of the truth, a consistent process and the most efficient customer journey. Graded and scored leads and targets worked on collaboratively with the sales team increases the chance of closing the deal.  

For marketers, the ability to demonstrate true value throughout the engagement process through to the sale is vital to progressing as a revenue generator. CRM may be an investment, but the right solution will offer complete sales and marketingintegration to transform lead generation activities and ensure the recognition you, as a marketer, deserve. 

Market research in 2022: What to expect

Following a year of disruption in 2020, the seeds sown by the pandemic began to grow in 2021. Brands have recognized the need to understand constantly changing consumer behavior and sentiment, which has brought technology-driven market research and automation to the forefront.

So, what does 2022 have in store for the market research industry? What lessons can be learned from 2021, and how can these create real opportunities for consumer insights moving forward? Frederic-Charles Petit, CEO at Toluna, a tech company operating in the market research space, explains what next year will bring to the sector, including specific industry developments that will be key to progress…

Adaptation to a multi-dimensional society and individual

A key trend we’ll see in 2022 is how market research keeps pace with innovation alongside a rapidly changing, multi-dimensional society. Research will need to address the diversity in populations to truly embody being not only nationally representative, as the term is historically defined, but to capture the diversity of the ubiquitous consumer. Hyper-segmentation will become vital as research must move from simply defining key attributes of a person—such as age, social class, wealth, gender and the like—to create insights that are uniquely relevant to a consumer as an individual. Research needs to follow the complexity of society and consumer behavior so that it can deliver the information brands need to make key decisions in how they market their products and services.

Technology, driven by innovation in artificial intelligence, can capture this complexity—and market research organizations must harness this power to deliver truly agile, responsive insights about consumers that enable brands to remain relevant to their customers. That’s why, at Toluna, we’re boosting our investment in technology—which has always been at the forefront of our research platform—by 40% next year. We want to enhance our capability to continue capture the complexity of a multi-dimensional society, at scale, on demand, and in real-time to provide detailed, specific insight to brands on their consumers. We look forward to working with our clients to write this new chapter for market research.

Acceleration in the democratization of research to build and execute truly consumer-centric strategies

As we create superior ways to curate detailed and complex research on consumers, the industry must focus its efforts on the democratization of research. There’s a common misperception in that many think the democratization of research means the simplification of insights. This is not the case. When we say democratization of research, we mean making detailed data available in a simplified manner and in a seamless way to any business or any brand.

2022 will be the year to truly drive democratization because the technology is there to enable it. In the 21st century, you do not need to be a research expert to do this. The most junior members of an organization’s marketing team should be informed by easily available research that they can interact with, respecting the integrity of methodology, but at scale—and this is what we’ll see come to fruition next year. We’re currently in a situation where the everyday consumer has access to more data than, for example, a brand manager. They can simply go onto Google or ask their friends for their opinion online on whether they agree with something or what their favorite movie or outfit is. Why? Because there’s still this notion that research, in the B2B market, is for experts.

We’ve witnessed a democratization of consumer opinion and user-generated content online, but this has yet to be replicated in the business world. In 2022, as research continues to be technology-driven against the backdrop of constantly changing consumer sentiment, the industry must democratize research within the enterprise, giving marketing and brand teams the ability to access automated research at scale that can inform key decisions.

The multifaceted consumer – how market research must respond

Today’s consumer is complex and multidimensional. Real and relevant insights are no longer solely about a person’s geographic location, job role, or opinions on societal changes. It’s about understanding that a consumer can have several different “individualities.” For example, a person can be passionate about sustainable living. They might grow their own food, re-use plastic, and drive a Tesla, while, at the same time, enjoy holidaying in Barbados—which involves traveling thousands of miles via plane, one of the world’s biggest polluters.

As we move into 2022, the question becomes, ‘how can we reflect these different and complex facets of the consumer in research?’ The industry must focus on how we can give organizations the ability to capture three, four, or even five dimensions of the same individual or group of individuals. This is especially important as we move into the next generation internet—a 3D sequel to the internet called the Metaverse which has the potential to revolutionize the way we shop and the way brands market their products. How does a research company do that? It’s about delivering hyper-segmentation, hyper-personalization, at scale, and in real-time to enable brands to deeply understand and empathize with their consumer to deliver products they truly want.

 Looking ahead

There’s no doubt about it, the industry is set for profound transformation in the next year. Powered by automation and technological innovation, we’ll see market research companies change from simply asking questions to listening and participating in conversations, analyzing vast amounts of data at scale. Market research will become the medium of choice for brands to understand what their consumers are thinking, how they’re feeling, to predict their actions, and to co-create truly consumer-centric strategies with them. It won’t be just about collating data through surveys or other means but via live and continuous interaction through technologies that enable relevant and real-time consumer insights. Research must be technology-led, platform-led, and embed the intelligence of the researcher in technology through automation.

The Great Resignation: What’s causing burnout and how can CMOs take action?

By Harriet Durnford-Smith, CMO at Adverity

The Great Resignation is continuing to gain momentum with a raft of employees exiting the workplace. Nearly  41% of the global workforce are now considering switching jobs within the year and the marketing industry is amongst those leading the charge. A recent MarketerHire study concluded that an astonishing 60% of marketers felt compelled to change their job in 2021. With an exodus of top talent leaving, it has left not only a bitter taste but has also reduced morale, and caused plummeting productivity levels within most companies. This hasn’t been helped by the steadily increasing workloads too. It’s not all lost though, there are ways to bounce back… 

Work Smarter, Not Harder

With such drastic numbers of vacancies, the Great Resignation is leaving those who stay in their roles hurt and burnt out. Other factors piling on the pressure and creating the perfect storm for marketers include reduced budgets and cost-cutting, and increased market uncertainty – and that’s not even half of it! Yet it’s not the time to despair. When we can no longer work harder, we must work smarter.

As a society, we are on the edge of commercial space exploration and the Artificial Intelligence (AI) revolution. Yet, Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) still rely on gut feel to promote these 21st-century innovations as they are still relying on outdated marketing practices that prevent them from proving that their campaigns are working. All while facing unprecedented market and consumer behaviour changes spurred by the pandemic with increased homeworking and ongoing travel restrictions doing little other than dampening creativity.

New Adverity research shows 38% are not able to measure their campaigns’ Return on Investment (ROI). The findings speak to a worrying state of play, showing that large numbers of CMOs are flying blind when it comes to planning and delivering their campaigns – as they face the pressure of demonstrating the ROI.

As marketing spend continues to climb back to pre-pandemic levels, the ability to demonstrate the value of multi-million-dollar campaigns, especially around high spend fixtures in the retail calendar like Black Friday and the run-up to Christmas. The inability of marketers to demonstrate the value of campaign budgets to the business may not only hurt their ability to secure future budgets but could also impact the perception of their performance by the wider business. Coronavirus accelerated digital-first behaviours virtually overnight giving rise to new customer service expectations and the demand for increased personalisation at every level. Opportunity knocks for the savvy marketer who understands how target audiences are digesting and interacting with campaigns. This approach will be vital in working out if the campaign’s really delivering the umph needed.

Becoming Data-Driven 

34% of CMOs don’t trust their marketing data. A number that rises to 41% among their data analyst colleagues—posing a new challenge for the C-suite charged with driving marketing results. This divide in trust only gets bigger the more senior you go, which should cause significant alarm for any business trying to make informed, strategic decisions and make trust the centrepiece of company culture.

One of the most likely causes of the distrust in marketing data and the number one challenge cited by both marketers and data analysts (42%) is the time being wasted on manually wrangling data. At the C-level, this jumps to 54%.

Modern marketing can’t afford to wait three weeks for someone to sift through a spreadsheet. By manually wrangling data, businesses not only open themselves up to human error and inefficiency but also commit themselves to a reactive strategy. Playing catch-up and firefighting doesn’t allow businesses to up their brand innovation and brand confidence game. Those who cannot keep up with the evolution or aren’t willing to embrace the new ways of working will ultimately be left behind. Moving away from manually wrangling data is the first step to becoming a data-driven business.

This trust divide between colleagues and time-wasted on data wrangling culminates to create the perfect storm of challenges confronting marketers. Is it any wonder then that the CMO tenure is now the shortest in history at barely over 25 months while that of CEOs continues to rise? Could this lack of reliable marketing data lead to the CMOs’ diminishing influence in the boardroom, or the ability to have the ear of the CEO/CFO whilst unable to prove marketing effectiveness?

Packing a Greater Punch in 2022

In 2022, companies will need to develop new strategies in order to analyse their marketing campaigns so they can react effectively to new trends. Finding ways to get to grips with the pain points of the Great Resignation and ways to reinspire and re-engage marketeers is going to be essential for progress.

Efficient and detailed reporting is a key target for any company in the new year. Adverity’s research shows that respondents who already have strong campaign reporting are three times more likely to be strong at audience-building and targeting and delivering personalized content and customer experiences.

Quality campaign reporting methods help to increase customer satisfaction and those who have it are also three times more likely to re-invest in its vis-a-vis businesses that said they still need to improve. The divide between those who are garnering greater insights from their reports and those who are not is only widening.

For data analysts, the work needs to avoid overwhelming them with the always-on ‘urgent’ manual and, ultimately, soul-destroying data wrangling. This shows that navigating the Great Resignation is a top priority in 2022.

Modern day marketers are now more data savvy than ever before and they want to use the latest tools that are vibrant and exciting, and not work on laborious, outdated systems. Marketeers are always aspiring for perfection and continue to make consumers the centerpiece of their company’s universe. Making sure data analysts and marketers can show the value of what they are doing for their work is key and they need to be provided with the correct tools to do so. Making sure the marketing data is under control is a first step to rebuilding marketing teams in the new normal.

The new research is available in full here: https://www.adverity.com/marketing-analytics-state-of-play-2022-challenges-priorities 

SEOs and digital PRs know their worth and are asking for a 10%-20% uplift in salary

With marketing spend roaring back to pre-pandemic levels, there’s a lot of hiring happening right now. We’re seeing headcounts go beyond levels of pre-pandemic hiring, as there’s such demand for new talent. Post-COVID, most brands are shifting budget to their online channels. Demand is increasing, but there’s not enough resources to go around. Specialist SEO provider, Blue Array, discusses the resourcing challenges in digital marketing and search…

In quarter one of 2021, PwC reported that digital advertising spend had surged 49% as marketers’ confidence returned, with a £10.5 billion spent. And, further to this, it was announced in September that UK job vacancies had hit a record breaking 1 million, as payrolls bounced back to pre-COVID levels. In August alone, The Office of National Statistics stated that the number of payroll employees increased by 241,000 to 29.1 million.

Since COVID-19, the recruitment landscape has shifted to a candidate-led market. Digital marketing and search professionals are demanding better working standards. They’ve weathered the storm of COVID and have tackled many curveballs in the last 18 months, and they now know their worth.

Stacey Tylisczuk, PPC, SEO and Digital Marketing Recruiter, said: “Since the summer of 2020, the demand for SEO and digital PR hasn’t stopped. Before COVID, we found that there was greater demand within paid media (PPC and paid social) than SEO, but after the ‘paid taps’ were turned off at the start of the pandemic to save marketing budgets, there’s been an interesting switch with SEO roles dominating the digital market. In part, I believe this is because as an industry we’re seeing the value of consistent and continual investment into owned media.

Since mid-2020, the amount of SEO and digital PR roles have more than doubled. 2021 continues to be a candidate-led market and I am almost certain we’ll see this continue throughout 2022. Historically, SEO roles were lower paid than PPC, but SEO salaries have definitely risen since the switch. SEOs and digital PRs know their worth and are typically asking for a 10%-20% uplift from what we were seeing across the industry in 2019. With remote working, there’s a lot of London businesses mopping up talent in the north and south west too, which is also driving salaries up. In terms of poaching and headhunting, talented individuals are receiving in the region of 15-20 messages per week from recruiters. Knowing that they’re in demand and can get a bump in salary is definitely making people think twice about their current roles and salaries.”

Simon Schnieders, Founder at Blue Array, said: “Every agency owner is going through the COVID resourcing hangover right now. There’s lots of people who were furloughed, then brought back. They’ve endured COVID and it’s then led to itchy feet to get a better package, work-life balance, or role. Poaching has always been a thing, but it’s much more prevalent at the moment. Candidates are looking for companies with strong values, who look after their staff, and can offer development and progression.”

So, what can you do to tackle the resourcing crisis head on? Whether it’s investing in apprenticeships or adapting working standards to retain current staff and attract new talent, you need to take a long hard look at your resourcing to be in a good recruitment position in 2022. Swanky office? Candidates don’t care. What they really want to know is what the company culture is like. Agencies need to show how they can improve their employees’ lives – from private healthcare and menstrual days to flexible working and enhanced maternity pay. It’s clear that employers will need to work just as hard on hiring, as they do with new business and sales.

Get your 2022 agency resourcing on track with Blue Array’s 10 top things to adopt for next year:

  • Adopt a fully optional flexible working environment. Employees need to have the option to work in both an office and at home.
  • Review and benchmark industry salaries to keep a competitive edge.
  • Avoid employee burnout by employing in advance and monitoring their workload on a regular basis.
  • Kickstart your employer brand to compete against your competitors.
  • Create a compelling brand narrative that will inspire the most talented jobseekers to accept that first interview and fall in love with your brand.
  • Perfect your remote recruitment process.
  • Offer the most coveted perk – flexibility.
  • Build a pool of reliable and engaged freelancers.
  • Ensure you provide ongoing training and opportunities for talent to grow.
  • Adopt an ABR mindset (always be recruiting).