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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Marketing Officers (CMOs) still rely on gut feel to promote these 21st-century innovations as they are still relying on outdated marketing practices that prevent them from proving that their campaigns are working.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 

Valid proof of consent: What marketers need to know

By OneTrust

Data, trust, and compliance are three big focus areas for marketers. In terms of consent, obtaining it from your audience is critical to executing marketing activities in a privacy-centric way – and so is proving you’ve obtained that consent.

Consent matters not only for staying compliant with global privacy regulations, including the GDPR, but also for establishing a relationship of trust between your brand and your customer base. As your organization begins to initiate a stronger relationship of trust with the end user, it’s important to build a marketing-consented database and be able to centralize consent details such as what the end user consented to, what they were told upon consent, etc. Empowering your organization to be an industry leader in customer trust and compliance means that you must address one key issue: valid consent.

What is Valid Consent?

Valid consent addresses the call for proof of consent across multiple regulations (e.g. GDPR, CCPA, LGPD, etc.). Obtaining valid proof of consent is key in enabling your organization to acquire and use marketing data ethically. It also allows you to provide tangible evidence to your customer base when necessary. Many organizations today have consent stored as a simple yes or no flag with a timestamp in their CRM or marketing automation tool, which is not considered fully compliant. Multiple regulations provide guidance on keeping valid proof of consent, but you will need to at the very least track the following:

  • Who consented and when they consented
  • What they were told at the time of consent
  • How they consented

Many marketers rely on a simple checkbox and a yes/no answer for consent. However, to properly demonstrate consent, you need records that include:

  • The name of the individual or another identifier (e.g. online user, name, session ID)
  • Dated documents or online records that include a timestamp
  • A master copy of the document or data capture form Version and copy of any privacy policy or notice shown at the time
  • Offline: a copy of the relevant documentation
  • Online: should include data submitted and a link to the relevant form version of the captured data

To learn what marketing activities require consent and what regulations apply, download this free infographic from OneTrust Consent and Preferences.

9% of UK marketing professionals plan to spend £100,000 on influencers

Research by UK-based digital marketing firm Takumi has found that 9% of UK marketers are expecting to spend over £100,000 on influencers during the next 12 months.

Only 4% of marketers polled said that they had no plans to spend money on influencers.

39% planned to spend up to £10,000, with 20% estimating a potential spend between £10,000 and £100,000.

“A lot of people are saying that influencer marketing is an over-hyped fad – that there’s no ROI and it’ll soon disappear. But as these results show, it’s clear influencer marketing is here to stay. Brands recognise its value and are therefore dedicating big budgets towards it,” commented Mats Stigzelius, co-founder and CEO of Takumi.

“Of the professionals we surveyed for example, 61% stated they now feel they are able to accurately measure engagement levels and return on investment, and as platforms like Instagram continue to roll out new features to signpost promoted content, that’s only going to increase.”

The figures support the belief by many marketers that working with influencers is an effective strategy to pursue, with 26% rate influencer marketing as much more effective at targeting consumers than other forms of of advertising, such as adverts on social media channels.

“The size of the accounts used in marketing campaigns is particularly interesting,”added Stigzelius.

“Many people still wrongly prefer macro influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers, but the reality is that you now reach the same audience with micro influencers, while also benefitting from higher engagement.

“For example, working with a celebrity might give you one social media post. Working with micro influencers, you could generate the same reach and 100 pieces of social content with exactly the same budget. From our experience, we’re seeing more and more brands realise that celebrity isn’t everything and ditching big names in favour of micro-influencers. It’s a trend we only expect to continue.”

Email marketing top of the ROI Charts

The 2017 Econsultancy/Adestra email Marketing Industry Census has revealed that email marketing is top of the ROI Charts for the third year in a row.

Based on a survey of over 1,200 marketers undertaken between February and March 2017, 73% of companies along with 76% of agency respondents rated it excellent or good.

Budget allocated, however, was only 15% of total marketing budget, with a feeling that the growing complexity of the digital marketing landscape still left many marketers confused as to how best allocate funds to create a more complete campaign.

Those marketers who are more tech savvy and able to master the data and successes within email marketing are set to gain business advantages over competitors over the next 12 month period.

“The results of this year’s Census show that marketers are struggling to see the bigger picture and stand by their choices,” explained Henry Hyder-Smith, Adestra CEO. “By getting the fundamentals working together – personalisation, automation, integration, optimisation – they can make the most of the technology available, offer their customers the experience they are looking for, and realise the benefits of becoming First-Person Marketers.”

Monica Savut, head of research services at Econsultancy, said: “Email continues to be one of the most effective marketing channels and it’s encouraging to see that marketers are looking beyond standalone campaigns by embracing marketing automation and personalisation. However, this year’s Census shows that marketers need to adopt a more rigorous approach, keeping a sharp focus on both technology and strategy while never losing sight of the customer.

“The rewards are there for the taking, but reaping maximum value is dependent on two key success factors: investment that is proportional to any potential returns and a comprehensive strategy that focuses on continuous measurement, testing and optimisation.”

The full report can be downloaded here:

2017 Email Marketing Industry Census

Marketers and customers still not fully aware of data laws…

According to the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)’s ‘Whose data is it anyway?’ report – which analysed the responses of 2,500 customers and marketers to gain further knowledge of how personal data is managed – almost one half of marketers (41 per cent) do not understand the laws surrounding use of customer data.

A startling 92 per cent of customer respondents admitted they are not fully aware of how companies are using their personal information; and marketers are commonly misusing this data. 68 per cent openly confessed to protecting their own data as if it was a customer’s due to the widely-known possibility of it being stored or used incorrectly.

View the ‘Whose data is it anyway?’ report here

Measurement budgets ‘critical’ to senior level content marketers…

A new study conducted by the Content Marketing Association (CMA) has determined that measurement continues to be seen as a critical factor as dedicated spend is set to grow over the next 12 months.

Measurement is considered to be ‘very important’ to a content marketing strategy by 73 per cent of senior level marketers; with half of marketers currently spending 6-15 per cent of their content marketing budget on. Almost half of respondents (45 per cent) are planning to increase their measurement budgets within the next year, and 56 per cent have ‘automatically’ offered it as part of their strategy.

In addition, the research indicates a high demand to ‘expand the boundaries’ of content marketing measurement, with 68 per cent claiming marketers should seek to measure emotional engagement.

Managing director at the CMA, Claire Hill, said: “Measurement is central to the content marketing industry and this research proves how critical it is to senior marketers. It is great to see the industry joining together to address the key challenges, growing budgets to stay at the forefront of measurement and ROI.”

The Measuring Effectiveness Report, was conducted with senior level marketers, including the CMA membership of over 40 companies, plus brands such as British Gas, Sainsbury’s Bank and Barclays UK. It is the fourth report in a series consisting:Video Engagement Industry Report, ‘The Role of Social in Content Marketing and Content Marketing and Data Intelligence.

 

Download the full report here

Industry Spotlight, Apple iOS 10: What do brands need to know?

Product marketing manager for Urban Airship Engage, Diana Laboy-Rush looks at the implications for brands following Apple’s recent iOS 10 release , with its support for Rich Notifications, where images, video, audio, GIFs and interactive buttons are embedded directly within push notifications.

For businesses, iOS 10 brings massive changes to Apple’s operating system that place better and richer app engagement front-and-centre. If past adoption rates hold steady, it won’t be long before all of your iPhone app users gain richer experiences that offer deeper insight into what they care about. Here are some key points that businesses should be aware of…

 

Reap before you sow with key improvements

iOS 10 solves existing barriers that will make current engagement efforts more effective. A Raise to Wake feature means TouchID users won’t blow past lockscreen notifications when unlocking their phones. Notifications are immediately visible as users pick up their phones. Notifications also become the default view for the Notification Center, a chronologically-ordered archive that makes messages easier to find later.

 

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then a GIF or video could be worth more

Rich Notifications can include images, GIFs, audio, video and interactive buttons embedded directly within push notifications. Grab the attention of your audience with notifications that inspire action. Recent Android data analysis found a 56 per cent higher response rate to notifications with pictures versus those without.

 

Better visibility for richer, actionable notification experiences

With iOS 10, users get visual and written cues that there’s a richer notification experience awaiting them. Lockscreen notifications arrive with rich media thumbnails and an instruction to either “Press for more” or “Slide for more” depending on whether Force Touch is available on the device.

That’s in stark contrast to previous Apple operating systems, which had businesses building these instructions into notification text to help ensure interactive buttons were discovered.

 

Mind your media, or risk ruin with too much of a good thing

Apple provides maximum file sizes for images, audio and video that would be best to undercut dramatically. Rich media will impact consumers’ data plans, ranging from barely noticeable with judicious use of images, to potential reasons to delete an app for sending files that are too large or too frequent. These files will impact your bandwidth costs too. Think about opt-in campaigns where users can get a taste and choose to receive these richer, more immersive and data-heavy experiences.

 

Don’t be a blockhead with Rich Notifications

With brands running to emojis for a quick if quirky engagement hit, it would be easy but wrong to approach Rich Notifications in the same manner. When rich media is tailored to specific users’ interests it adds immersive depth not interpretive color to messaging campaigns.

Remember also that not all users will immediately upgrade to iOS 10, so messaging should be made to work without reference to embedded rich media or sent specifically to the segment of your users that have adopted iOS 10. Some solutions will allow you to provide alternative text if the rich media successfully downloads.”

Marketers not using full annual leave entitlement, research claims…

According to recent research from the specialist professional recruitment consultancy, Robert Walters, almost 25 per cent of UK-based marketers are not using their full annual leave entitlement.

The ‘Career Lifestyle’ survey revealed a substantial 27 per cent admitted to not using their annual leave allowance last year; with the most prevalent reasons cited being that there was ‘too much pressure’ to complete ongoing projects; as well as feeling they were not allowed to take time off work; and a further 10 per cent fearing they would fall behind with their work.

B2B Sales and Marketing manager at Robert Walters, Stuart MacSween, said: “Across a range of industries, reviews of digital marketing strategies in particular have been common, as businesses look to keep pace with changing technology.”

He continued: “As a result, marketing professionals are often under pressure to deliver these projects to tight deadlines as employers look to take advantage of new developments in digital and online platforms for marketing purposes. However, if these projects are not managed effectively it is easy for marketing teams to become overworked, struggling to take their allocation of annual leave. In turn, this may leave staff running the risk of suffering from burnout, lowering productivity and staff morale.”

Surprisingly, just 16 per cent of marketing companies offered some form of compensation to their employees for any extra hours worked, either through the mediums of time off in lieu or overtime pay.

Guest Blog, Trevor Hardy: Why marketers need to recognise consumer trends…

Examining trends is not a way of predicting the future; it’s a way of understanding the direction of forces, attitudes and behaviours. The Future Laboratory has developed a methodology for trend forecasting that combines qualitative, quantitative and ethnographic research; as well as expert interviews and an informed dose of intuition. But you can start the practice of identifying early adopter behaviours. Inspired by William Gibson who said, “The future is already here, it just isn’t very evenly distributed”, you can identify these early signs, behaviours or attitudes that are considered niche today; but will become more mainstream in months and years to come.

Understanding trends is essential. Not to predict what is going to happen or to create certainty – but to build confidence. Confidence that the decisions you take today will result in benefits tomorrow. Trends may have devalued meaning in some boardrooms, but they are essential insights which help with business, brand and marketing planning.

 

Trends are not trending

 

Understanding trends is not about knowing what is hot or trendy. Trends are a weather system; they are way to think about where things are going, where things may be and how things may change. Think of them as an insurance policy for your strategy. A way of exploring and understanding all possible futures to give you greater confidence that you are developing plans for what will be, rather than what is.

 

Trends slow down time

 

For years there has been a growing and clear sense that speed is good; speed should be aspired to. That speed of decision-making, of action or consumption and response signalled modernity, accomplishment and dynamism. We see it in our jobs, with roles changing at a greater pace; we see it in our voracious consumption and rapid disposal of news and of course we see it in our relationships with marriages not only coming to an end more frequently, but more quickly too

Without taking the space and time to consider possible futures, the road ahead is very uncertain; and that uncertainty is frightening. Whether it is Brexit, our pensions or our physical health we have a growing and worrying inability to engage with distant threats. As Ralph L Keeney of North Carolina’s Duke University puts it, ‘America’s top killer isn’t cancer or heart disease or smoking or obesity. It’s our inability to overcome our own short-term behaviour.’

The need for speed is letting us down. By taking time to develop a longer term view of your brand, market or consumer, you will be better prepared to make more informed, meaningful choices, and have a clearer picture of possible futures.

 

Trends are slow strategies

 

In one sense, understanding trends allows you to slow down time: being more prepared and informed about the future will allow people to engage in a slower, more considered planning process. The need for continuous rapid response will fade away as your teams develop more confidence in their future-readiness.

Slow strategies will become increasingly palatable as it appears that ‘fast’ is under attack in other aspects of life: food, fashion, music, sex and travel. From Jake Dyson’s 40-year light bulb and the New Horizons space probe, which took almost a decade of travel before beginning its mission, to Richard Linklater’s film Boyhood, which took 12 years to make; brands and their customers are thinking in terms of years, decades – even centuries.

There is an emerging acceptance that immediate gratification is leading to longer-term regret. A recognition, especially amongst younger generations, that a live-for-today approach may have caused irreparable harm to our bodies, our businesses, our communities and our planet. And these same younger generations may be the ones to embrace a long view so that they do not make the mistakes their parents made; the ones who will think in terms of legacy, not missions; who will consider their actions not over instants but over ages. They may be the ones to set an example to think long and slow.

Trevor is chief executive of The Future Laboratory; a trend forecasting and future strategy firm. His career has spanned management consulting and advertising agencies in Canada, USA and the UK; working with organisations including Coca-Cola, Budweiser, Chanel and MTV.

Wrike for Marketers ‘simplifies and frees’ creatives from technology overload…

The project management application service provider, Wrike, has launched a brand new solution which aims to provide marketers with a ‘core management platform’, as well as added capabilities specifically designed to help define, execute and plan standout campaigns in a multichannel digital world.

Wrike for Marketers claims to support all phases of the marketing lifecycle; as jobs are requested with customisable briefs and ideas and content created with a document editor and the Adobe Creative Cloud Extension that notifies, assigns and brings focus to creative work.

Founder and CEO of Wrike, Andrew Filev, said: “I believe we’ve built the easiest way for marketers and creatives to manage their work from inspiration to delivery. A big pain point for these teams has always been the time and frustration required to transfer information between the various phases of projects. Wrike for Marketers integrates those phases into one continuous stream.”

Find out more about Wrike for Marketers here