In January of 2020, Sirkin Research was commissioned by NewsCred to examine the top marketing initiatives and challenges faced by marketing executives and leaders related to marketing work management, such as campaign planning and budgeting, resource management, and performance measurement, to name a few. The Marketing Initiatives for 2020 survey research is based on nearly 100 survey responses from marketing directors and above in enterprise-level organizations, typically $1 billion or more in company revenue.
Marketing Initiatives for 2020 survey summary
The survey insights indicate that being able to measure and prove the impact of marketing efforts and being operationally efficient (maximizing time, budget, and resources) are top marketing initiatives for 2020. The initiatives that ladder up to the top goals, such as increasing output and improving processes, further stress the importance of marketing work management: that is, managing campaigns and marketing efforts in the most effective and efficient ways to reduce the bottlenecks that keep marketing work from getting done faster.
Top marketing initiative #1: Demonstrate Marketer’s Business Impact
93% of marketing leaders cite that demonstrating the business impact of their team’s marketing efforts is a high or very high priority.
As most CMOs and marketing leaders know, being able to measure and prove the impact of marketing efforts is an essential part of running a team. It’s also a vital component of demonstrating to your CFO that you need more budget and/or resources (another important initiative that will be covered in the next section). In fact, over 60% of marketers face pressure from their CEO or board to prove the ROI of marketing, so it’s no wonder that demonstrating marketing impact is one of the key marketing initiatives for 2020.
Pro Tip: Content ideation and creation is still king and a major part of the work marketers do daily. A key feature of content marketing platforms is the inherent ability to effectively measure the success of the content being produced across the entire marketing team.
Top marketing initiative #2: Maximize Marketing Budget
84% of marketing leaders say that maximizing their budget is one of the top marketing initiatives for 2020.
Increasingly, marketers are faced with doing more with less and getting the most from their marketing budget. According to the survey, 84% of marketing leaders say that maximizing their budget is one of the top marketing initiatives for 2020, noting it as a high or very high priority.
Marketing budget is like the hours you have in a day — there’s never enough so you have to maximize what you have. According to the survey, 100% of integrated marketers say that maximizing their budget is one of the top marketing initiatives for 2020. Maximizing budget for certain marketing-related line items can be difficult. Additional research has shown that content creation is a main budget focus, and in many cases, a challenge. And let’s not forget that MarTech spend hit $100 billion in dollars spent in 2019, which means that many enterprise marketing teams are using various, disparate tools that all contribute to budget spend.
Pro Tip: The first step for maximizing your marketing budget is to find out how much you currently spend, and where. Use marketing budgeting software that allows you to tie program costs to marketing efforts so you can keep track of and better manage your budget.
Top marketing initiative #3: Accelerate Campaign Execution & Content Production
71% indicated that accelerating campaign execution and content production is a high or very high priority.
Improving productivity is a top initiative for most marketing leaders. Additionally, many industries are becoming increasingly competitive, so the ability of a marketing team to be agile is very important. Not surprisingly, the Sirkin Survey revealed that accelerating campaign execution and content production is a top marketing initiative for 2020.
The key to running an effective marketing team is to be able to plan and execute campaigns and their supporting content in an efficient, timely manner. So it’s no surprise that the third most important marketing initiative for 2020 is accelerating time-to-market. Rather than wasting time on work about work — sending around a piece of content via email for multiple approvals, for example — marketing leaders need to focus on finding ways to automate the time-consuming processes that typically keep marketing work from getting done quicker.
Pro Tip: Use technology to streamline processes and implement documented marketing workflows for getting campaign-related work done. Whether it’s creating content or visual assets from start to finish, enterprise-level marketing management software will allow your team to keep track of and accelerate the production of all elements of a campaign.
Top marketing initiative #4 & #5: Improve Marketing Planning Process & Visibility
More than 68% of marketing leaders identified that improving the marketing planning process and visibility of strategic plans as a priority.
Improving the marketing planning process surfaced as the fourth most important marketing initiative for 2020 with nearly 68% of marketing leaders indicating this a high or very high priority. As marketing teams expand to external agencies and consultants, planning campaigns across both cross-functional internal teams and external teams is challenging. Given current trends, it’s clear that integrated marketing and planning remains a challenge to many marketing leaders.
At #5, increasing visibility of strategic plans across all marketing teams was also noted as a major marketing initiative, with nearly 66% of survey respondents indicating this a high or very high priority. So it’s clear that it is not just about planning but visibility into the plans so everyone is on the same page.
Pro Tip: Increasingly, modern marketing organizations are relying on marketing planning software to streamline the marketing planning process and improve visibility into the strategic plans to improve collaboration and execution across the entire marketing organization.
Other Notable Marketing Initiatives
To round out the survey findings, marketing leaders, to a lesser extent, also identified improving brand or content governance, increasing marketing output (i.e. volume), and improving marketing team morale as key marketing initiatives, with roughly 50% of marketing leaders noting as high or very high priorities. We found that fewer leaders were concerned about the volume of output but rather focused on speed of execution, the third highest-rated marketing initiative.
Top Marketing Initiative Respondents
To provide more clarity into who completed the survey, the following charts summarize both the primary job function of the survey respondents as well as their titles. The survey targeted marketing leaders in enterprise-level businesses.
NewsCred unleashes the potential of marketing by unifying and empowering teams to work better together. Purpose-built for the complexities of marketing, NewsCred’s Marketing Work Management software accelerates campaign execution and content production by enabling the entire marketing organization to collaboratively plan, produce, and manage campaigns and content. Used by Twitter, Fidelity, Cisco, USAA, among others, NewsCred also offers the industry’s leading Content Marketing Services to help brands deliver high-performing content at scale.
Founded in 2008, NewsCred has partnered with hundreds of the world’s best marketing organizations to provide unprecedented control and visibility, enabling them to improve operational efficiency, create exceptional content, and elevate marketing results.
Learn more at www.newscred.com.
About Sirkin Research
Sirkin Research is focused on conducting primary research and delivering rich data insights to guide better decision-making for businesses. Located in Philadelphia, PA, USA, Sirkin research has over 15 years of experience working for some of the largest global technology and financial brands in the world. The firm’s work spans the globe from Copenhagen to London to New York. Sirkin Research is a brand of Arras Consulting, www.arrasconsulting.com.