Two of Prophet’s partners lay out the themes that emerged from its survey of 500 marketers and in-depth interviews with 25 brand, experience, and marketing leaders. What they found is more and more marketing experts understand the need to balance brand and demand campaigns, and why the two need to be integrated to be successful. Here are four key areas on which to focus.

With growing pressure to deliver both short-term and long-term growth, today’s chief marketing officers have adopted entirely new ways of managing their budgets – and measuring their impact. Internal friction between investing in brand or demand campaigns has given way to enthusiastic synergies, with CMOs carefully monitoring different tactics.

What matters is finding the right balance. To understand how marketers are shaking off outdated ways of working and the internal conflicts, we surveyed more than 500 marketers and more recently, we interviewed 25 brand, experience, and marketing leaders to see if those insights still hold in today's relentless “do more with less” corporate mandates.

We’re more convinced than ever that modern marketing requires that brand and demand work closely, and our recent conversations confirm that CMOs aspire to be maestros of both.

“We’ve been heavily focused on demand over the past 18 months,” says Sheila Shekar Pollak, Chief Brand Experience Officer at Orvis. “However, we also recognize the importance of brand awareness and storytelling. While demand strategies are necessary, creativity and innovation are crucial.” Our research shows that the majority of marketers take a balanced approach to brand and demand marketing spend, splitting their spend between 40-60% of marketing investment in either category.

The devil, of course, is in the details. “It’s about finding the sweet spot,” said Diego Norris, Chief Marketing Officer at Gimme Seaweed. To do so, CMOs say they are focused on four key areas.

1) Anchor marketing investment in business objectives

Marketing objectives identified during planning cycles drive the decision to focus on brand or demand marketing. To deliver optimal results, these marketing goals must be linked to the business priorities they support. This makes a compelling case for reporting progress in terms of value versus oblique marketing metrics. Put another way? The board doesn’t want to hear about clicks. Our research shows that marketers who effectively balance brand and demand are more likely to be relentlessly focused on making sure their marketing investments are tied to revenue outcomes. These balancers are more than 50% likely to cite revenue generation as the #1 measure of their success, compared to those who are primarily focused on brand or demand.

Every marketing element must pull together to meet those objectives, and 60% of the companies in our research describe their approach as balanced. Companies that separate budgets and teams between brand and demand do so at a disadvantage. Every touchpoint informs the perception of brand, and every brand touchpoint needs to drive towards measurable business outcomes.

2) Marketers that experiment win

CMOs know it’s time to change tactics. "What got us here won't get us there," said Theresa McLaughlin, Head of Global Marketing and Digital Transformation at T. Rowe Price. She continued, “Every part of marketing is in a constant state of transformation.”

With the rapid emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) and constantly changing consumer demands, there’s a deep need to take an agile test-and-learn approach to make more holistic and thoughtful bets in both brand and demand investments. Our research showed that winning organizations were significantly more likely to leverage strategic experimentation as the #1 driver of how they determine how much to spend on brand and demand efforts (36% vs. 29%). Measurement with lagging and leading indicators is vital. This allows brands to predict both financial outcomes and consumer behaviors based on early responses, allowing time to course correct.

“In this uncertain environment, we are constantly evolving the marketing playbook,” said Brad Krieger, Chief Marketing Officer at Cushman & Wakefield. Right now, that includes plenty of AI pilots and projects. “We aim to use AI to either accelerate our marketing efforts or scale them. We're also experimenting with creative development, such as copywriting and graphic design.”

3) Build an agile, modern marketing organization

Creating the right team, operating model and planning function can transform a marketing organization from static and siloed to agile and integrated. Of the marketers surveyed at successful businesses, 83% cited their organization’s capabilities and operating model as a top driver of business outcomes. Moreover, creating an integrated brand and demand team plays a key role in this success, with 62% of winning organizations having an integrated team compared to 50% across all respondents.

CMOs are taking a new look at their organizations. This may include becoming a “T-shaped marketer” which is built to support an integrated marketing organization, with approximately two-thirds of the team in the center and a third in a business division. Or it could mean integrating new business functions such as e-commerce, sales, or product with marketing. By shifting the operating model to create a team structure that fits the needs of the business, marketing organizations can operate in more agile and effective ways.

At Russell Reynolds Associates, the global leadership advisory firm, a shifting operating model has meant adding more specialized roles. “As a result, we are becoming much more creative in presenting our insights and data,” says Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Amy Scissons. “By shifting how the team is structured, we’ve become more agile, allowing us to do brand, demand and business development work.”

4) Put the customer at the center

Building relevance and having a clear understanding of the customer is the primary path to uncommon growth. Senior leaders echoed this, stressing the value of deeply knowing their audience, and finding new ways to do so. CMOs need to continue asking themselves, “Do we really understand our customers?”

Modern marketers need to be highly focused on understanding the customer needs to sharpen and drive their strategies. What attracts customers and holds their attention? Winning companies (50%) are highly focused on long-term customer relationships citing a priority in driving customer lifetime value compared to 37% of all respondents. Marketers who balance brand and demand always keep their customer objectives in mind with 45% ranking a behavioral customer outcome (e.g. customer acquisition, driving increased value per customer, etc.) as their #1 driver of success, compared to 11% who are primarily trying to drive market share.

Despite being asked to do more with less, CMOs are as committed as ever to boosting revenue with big ideas, powerful stories, and innovation. But as part of that, they are also modernizing their organizations in ways to integrate, orchestrate and balance brand awareness and demand creation.