UK marketers anticipate change

05 January 2012

LONDON: A majority of UK marketers expect their departments will undergo structural changes over the coming year, not least due to declining budgets and reductions in staffing levels.

Marketing Week, the trade title, and Ball & Hoolahan, the recruitment firm, polled 3,357 executives to gauge industry attitudes and predictions regarding the next 12 months.

Some 53% of the panel believed marketing divisions would be remodelled this year, as several challenges - covering everything from the economy to the rise of digital media - make a continuing impact.

More specifically, 16% of those surveyed agreed amendments to their current budgets, typically downwards, are fuelling these processes.

A further 14% suggested the amalgamation of the marketing function with other departments constituted the driving force behind such moves.

In sum, these developments reinforce trends that started to gather pace in 2010, when 62.9% of marketing teams witnessed the implementation of transformation programmes.

Among the major companies employing this approach last year was British Gas, the utilities provider, which axed the position of commercial director.

News International, the media giant, also split its marketing arm into three groups - brand, customer management and sales - working alongside a common communications team, and launched a new digital unit.

Everything Everywhere, formed following the merger of mobile networks Orange and T-Mobile, similarly adapted the arrangements in place at each brand to create a unified strategy.

ITV, the broadcaster, pursued a two-stage reform programme in 2011 relating to its commercial and online wing, including the introduction of a "multidisciplinary" sales team.

Elsewhere, the study revealed that the average salary for marketing directors rose by 4.2% last year on an annual basis, while marketing managers logged a 10.7% contraction.

Heads of digital and ecommerce operations enjoyed a 5.2% improvement on the same measure, and their counterparts leading insights and research teams saw a 5.6% lift.

Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff