Home > Marketing > 3 Studies on the State of Branding, Marketing and the Marketing Organization [UML]

3 Studies on the State of Branding, Marketing and the Marketing Organization [UML]

To borrow from a quote, the professional’s feet should be planted in their role, but their eyes should survey the marketing landscape.

There have been a lot of new surveys and reports launched since the beginning of the year. As I’m wont to do on the occasional Saturday, I’ve picked out three, reviewed them carefully and present some of the findings in this roundup series that I call the Unscripted Marketing Links.

(Click or right-click open an image in a new page for a higher resolution version)

1) Improving CX is the best way to distinguish your brand.

The top way marketers say they can distinguish their brands this year is by improving the customer experience (CX). That’s according to the State of Branding Report 2020 by Bynder. The company hired a professional research firm and polled 1,000 marketers to draw its conclusions.

When asked about the top way to differentiate their brand:

  • 27% of respondents said CX;
  • 21% said superior product differentiation;
  • 21% said brand authenticity;
  • 19% said visual brand identity; and
  • 11% said emerging channels.

Some of the other statistics that stood out in the report were:

  • Awareness is the top branding concern. 43% of respondents said growing brand awareness was their top concern; measurement followed next at a distant 24%.
  • Content production to grow 25%. “58% of those surveyed planning to increase their content production in 2020 by at least 25%, relative to 2019.”
  • Tech skills gap persists. 21% of respondents cited a skills gap as the top barrier to using technology in marketing. Data overload (20%), too many options (18%) and lack of integration (17%) followed.
  • Chatbots are overhyped. 27% of respondents said chatbots are overhyped, followed by podcasts (23%) artificial intelligence (23%) and account-based marketing (16%).

The whole report can be freely read online; registration is only required if you want a PDF copy, which seems to be middle ground in the case for and against gated content and registration pages.

s_customer experince is the best way to differentiate your brand according to a survey by bynder

2) Marketing aims to grow traffic and conversions.

“Increasing traffic and boosting conversion rates are the main priorities for marketers” in 2020. So says SimilarWeb in a new report called The 2020 State of Marketing Intelligence Report. The company survey 600 marketers globally to produce the report.

When asked about their top marketing priorities for the year:

  • 20% of respondents said increasing website traffic;
  • 19% said improving conversions;
  • 14% said client retention;
  • 12% said improving brand awareness; and
  • 12% said increasing market share.

Other statistics in the report that drew my attention were:

  • Top marketing challenges. 72% of respondents said their top challenge was “creating the best customer experience to increase brand loyalty.” That was followed by “low barriers to entry – new players keep emerging” (26%) and “fighting the giants: Google, Amazon, Facebook” (22%).
  • Most effective marketing channels. Respondents ranked Facebook ads (40%) as the top marketing channel. The social media platform was trailed by organic search (31%), Instagram ads (26%) and influencers (25%).
  • How marketers are evaluated. 27% of marketers are evaluated based on conversions; this was followed by ROI (25%), traffic (15%), revenue (14%) and market share (6%).
  • KPIs and past performance. 62% of respondents said their KPIs are driven by the historical performance of the company, 42% said it’s based on the marketing budget, and 31% establish KPIs based on competitive metrics.

The full report covers a lot of ground and it is available for download with registration.

s_traffic and conversions are the top marketing priorites according to a survey by similiarweb

3) How marketing is organizing to tackle goals and challenges.

“More than 50 percent of CMOs indicate they are responsible for 11 or more distinct marketing activities.” That’s one of the high-level findings of a new report – The Evolution of the Marketing Organization by Deloitte and the CMO Club. The two organizations solicited responses from 400 CMOs around the world to develop the report.

So which marketing activities are reporting up to the CMO? The top answers included some of the usual suspects:

  • 86% of respondent’s said product or service marketing;
  • 81% said channel and go-to-market;
  • 72% said marketing strategy;
  • 67% said marketing technology;
  • 65% said marketing services (design, merchandising and packaging);
  • 64% said lead generation; and
  • 63% said external advertising media and digital agencies.

Just as interesting were some of the functions that do not currently report to the CMO, but respondents think they should. Some of the standouts included the following:

  • 69% said partnerships and business development;
  • 67% said corporate strategy; and
  • 56% said public relations.

Some of the other findings I thought were interesting were:

  • Direct reports to the CMO. Marketing organizations have an “average of 2.4 layers of management. 78% of marketing strategy directly reports to the CMO. This was followed by marketing operations and technology (71%) and creative (38%) in a distant third. For all the noise over customer experience (CX), just 18% of staff in these roles report directly to the CMO.
  • CMOs need people with data and CX skills. “The most sought-after skills: data science (78%), analytics (68%), and user experience (60%).”
  • Marketing is C-suite material. “71% of marketing chiefs say their job is considered a ‘c-suite’ role and 59% of CMOs report too the CEO.” This finding is very telling given some voices spent the better part of last year peddling a narrative that the CMO was dead.
  • P&L responsibility. 68% of respondents said they have profit and loss (P&L) responsibility – the number is higher (78%) among marketing chiefs that report to the CEO; 84% do not have responsibility for the salesforce.
  • CEOs evaluate CMOs on awareness and sales. “CMOs report the top three measurements of success in the eyes of their CEO are awareness (51%), sales/revenue (31%) and media ROI (29%).”

The full report is freely available for download without registration.

s_product, channel and strategy all report to the CMO accoriding to a survey by Deloitte and the CMO club

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What studies have you seen so far this year that look interesting? Tweet me up or share in the comments below and I’ll consider it for a future post.


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Image credit: Unsplash and respective studies.

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