Marketers neglect the basics

01 December 2010

NEW YORK: Many marketers are neglecting basic aspects of their role such as the delivery and distribution of communications materials, hindering campaign effectiveness, a report has argued.

Industry body the CMO Council and Archway Marketing Services surveyed 267 senior executives worldwide, and revealed 80% thought their company possessed inadequate "go-to-market" capabilities.

This can cover everything from producing and delivering vital literature like brochures, leaflets and presentations to corresponding digital media components.

A further 20% suggested their demand chain is either "underperforming" or "needs improvement", despite the fact 38% viewed it as driving competitiveness, and an additional 31% agreed it helped sustained sales.

Elsewhere, a quarter of the sample had ensured sales resources were available on-demand, aiding customer conversion, while 15% had audited their marketing supply chain.

Although 56% of participants focused on campaign design, development and execution, this could be measured against 16% emphasising matters like production, warehousing and inventory management.

Similarly, only 2% of the panel were looking to optimise the delivery, fulfilment and distribution of marketing collateral.

A slightly greater 7% saw the demand chain as ripe for rationalisation, which may enhance their control and boost efficiency.

However, as nearly 60% of respondents hope to introduce a more disciplined approach regarding marketing execution systems, ignoring this area is not viable.

The main challenges to achieving such ambitions were receiving the right budget and funding on 43%, and determining which activities really have a business impact, registering 42%.

Securing new skills and talent posted 39%, ahead of monitoring results on 37% and gaining a comprehensive understanding of expense and value creation on 25%.

More broadly, there is a discernable "lack of consensus" about the exact tasks marketers should prioritise, possibly contributing to a general malaise concerning more functional elements of the job.

Some 18% of interviewees argued crafting strong products constituted a marketer's primary objective, the top score on this metric, but several other issues were also mentioned.

These included implementing multi-channel communications programmes, lead qualification and conversion and providing "appropriate selling content."

"Marketing tends to be preoccupied with … individual tactical executions or traditional marketing fundamentals like lead generation, campaign execution and content or creative development," said Donovan Neale-May, the CMO Council's executive director.

"Today's demand chain requires a new mix of digital, direct, and retail distribution, fulfilment, measurement and tracking capabilities to maximise customer contact, conversion and interaction."

Data sourced from CMO Council; additional content by Warc staff