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Technical abilities overriding core skills in marketing recruitment…

Core marketing capabilities such as copywriting, project management and analytical skills are often overlooked by industry employers, new research from Hays suggests.

83 per cent of the 300 respondents surveyed agree core skills hold more importance in the sector compared to technical skills, despite the ‘Elements of a marketer’ report concluding that too much deliberation is placed on the technical abilities of each recruitment.

Clare Kemsley, managing director at Hays said: “Core skills are vital to all marketers and without them, technical abilities cannot be used to their full potential. Marketing leaders need to consider the ideal mix of skills, within their teams and within themselves, in order to be able to capitalise on the ever-evolving digital world. 

“When looking for new roles, candidates should focus on highlighting their core skills and ‘fit’ with the organisation in order to increase their value, and earning potential, with future employers.”

Individuals in middle management positions were found to have the most significant skills gaps, as 21 per cent admit to struggling with strategic thinking and 14 per cent on analytical skills. 

Some employers did, however, indicate they would be willing to pay higher salaries for candidates who hold a strong balance of technical abilities and core skills.

Request a copy of the report here

‘Wasteful meetings and excessive emails’ hindering productive marketing tasks…

UK marketers are increasingly spending large portions of their working day focused on activities outside of their productive duties, a new Workfront study claims.

Wasteful meetings (64 per cent), excessive emails (62 per cent) and excessive oversight were found to be the top three indicators that ‘got in the way’ of completing necessary tasks. In addition, the enterprise work management solutions provider found that over a quarter (27 per cent) would best describe their feelings about attending meetings with negative emojis.

Joe Staples, chief marketing officer at Workfront said: “Meetings and email are a necessary part of today’s workplace. Unfortunately, they are often misused; decreasing, rather than increasing, productivity. The good news is there are better ways to manage work.

“By implementing a solution like Workfront, marketers are able to collaborate in the context of work, and gain complete visibility into the work that is being done. This eliminates the need for unnecessary status meetings, and lengthy email threads and gives teams time back to be more productive. It’s really about providing the tools that allow businesses to focus on the right work, create their best work, and deliver that work faster than ever before.”

The ‘2016 UK Marketing State of Work Report’ collected data on other key factors of a marketer’s typical work pattern, including:

  • 57 per cent take 30 minutes or less for lunch and 27 per cent take less than 15 minutes. 49 per cent claim to be too busy and 36 per cent prefer to work through their lunch hour.
  • 9 hours is the typical workweek for marketers, compared to their non-marketing counterparts who work an average of 40.6 hours per week.
  • 29 per cent said uninterrupted blocks of time would help them be more productive at work, followed by more efficient work processes (23 per cent), and more/better qualified people and resources (20 per cent).
  • 60 per cent believe the majority of workers will work remotely in the coming years.
  • 34 per cent of marketers agree that email will no longer be the main mode of communication in the next five years.

The full report can be accessed here

CMOs ‘first in firing line’ if company targets are not met…

The annual The C-level Disruptive Growth Opportunity’ online research report from Accenture Strategy analysing the attitudes of 535 CEOs and 847 CMOs from organisations around the world has determined that, although an estimated five ‘C-level executives’ are usually held responsible for driving disruptive business growth, the majority (37 per cent) will place CMOs first in the firing line if growth targets are not met.

The results found that CEOs depict CMOs to be the ‘primary driver’ of disruptive growth (50 per cent), closely followed by chief strategy officers (49 per cent), and chief sales officers (38 per cent). The majority of CMOs (96 per cent) also recognise the importance of disruptive growth to revenue potential, and an additional 75 per cent believe they have a great deal of control over the disruptive growth levers in their company.

Senior managing director leading Advanced Customer Strategy at Accenture, Robert Wollan commented: “Organisations that rely on ‘growth by committee’ struggle to achieve their targets. It breeds a C-suite culture where everyone is responsible, yet no one is accountable – and onus unduly falls onto someone, usually the CMO.

“CMOs can take a greater role by actively driving the disruptive growth agenda and generating new value for the business. Such initiatives include developing ecosystems with non-traditional players, launching platforms that elevate current products into expanded service models for customers, and increasing revenue through next generation connected data monetisation – all of which CMOs are well positioned to do.”

The report did, however, acknowledge that many CMOs are not currently in a position to drive disruptive growth due to time and mind-set. Only 30 per cent of believe they are cutting-edge marketing innovators, and 37 per cent of their time is spent on innovation. Furthermore, 60 per cent claim to spend the majority of their time on ‘traditional marketing initiatives’, such as improving customer experience and maintaining brand image.

While evidently important, 54 per cent state a large portion of their marketing budget is being wasted and not delivering the results the business expects.
Download the full report here

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

UK marketers lacking in essential skills, new research claims…

A recent industry test developed by the Digital Marketing Institute has discovered that just seven per cent of UK-based marketing professionals hold the proficient skills required – with the average participant scoring just 37 per cent in a test where 60 per cent marked ‘entry-level’ competency.

Welcoming participants from all over the world, the results were detailed in a report and showed the significant differences and similarities between nations; where the UK was in line with marketers in Ireland and the US (both scoring an average of 38 per cent). UK marketing professionals scored the lowest in display advertising and email marketing, meanwhile scoring the highest in digital strategy.

Founder and director of the Digital Marketing Institute, Ian Dodson, expressed his disappointment in the report’s findings: “People are at the heart of the digital economy globally, but if their basic skills sets are not keeping pace with digital developments, the economy may be storing up problems for the future.”

He continued: “It raises question marks over the sturdiness of the UK’s digital economy and its ability to maintain its current growth rates over the medium term. In the post-Brexit era, it will be imperative that the UK is able to hold its own fiscally. Addressing the skills deficit in the area of digital marketing is an obvious challenge for the UK in this regard.”

A surprising conclusion from the report demonstrated older marketers slightly out-performed their younger counterparts when it came to mediums such as mobile skills; as marketers over the age of 50 scored 38 per cent, those between 34 and 49 scored 37 per cent, and under 34’s scored 31 per cent.


Download the full report here

ANA: Brands need ‘chief media officers’ to oversee potential conflicts of interest…

The US-based Association of National Advertisers (ANA) has warned brands that, without the creation of a ‘chief media officer’ role in an agency, conflicts could potentially arise amongst third-party ad tech partners and agency rosters.

As a result of its recent ‘Media Transparency: Prescriptions, Principles, and Processes for Marketers’ report, other recommendations made by the organisation are: advertiser should have a disciplined and reliable process for managing conflicts of interest; marketers must implement disciplined internal processes to deliver contracts designed to ensure strict accountability, and senior management oversight; and to ensure that all contracts with media agencies include ‘robust language’ to provide full transparency.


Download and read the full report here

Are marketers acquiring enough value from customer data?

According to new joint research published by B2B Marketing and Avention, just 21 per cent of B2B marketers believe their organisations are getting the most out of customer data; in addition, 67 per cent of the 100 B2B marketers surveyed in the ‘Can marketers see what’s coming next?’ report admitting to not extracting sufficient value from the data they have pertaining to customer purchases, preferences and activities.

Furthermore, regarding the reasons behind these failures, 34 per cent claimed to regret their lack of accuracy in the data sets; and 33 per cent said some of the data collected was not appropriately recorded.

Head of content at B2B marketing, Alex Aspinall, said: “This should be the primary concern for anyone struggling to make headway with the data challenge: disparate data sets are of use to no one.

He continued: “A concerted effort is required from everyone involved with the recording, analysis and retrieval of customer data within an organisation to be singing from the same hymn sheet. Inter-departmental alignment on data practices and processes must be established, and respected, if progress is to be made in this area.”

Download the full report here