Marketing Role Changing Faster than Marketing People ?

By October 18, 2011
Keywords : Future of Retail, Europe

Social networks, tablet devices, increasing amounts of data... so many factors which are generating profound change for Marketing managers. And though they might well be aware of it, most are lagging behind in implementing new ways of working.

The vast majority of company Marketing managers are aware of the changes being brought about by new technologies, but there are still too few of them who are actually adjusting their working practices in line with these changes. A study carried out by IBM among more than 1,700 Marketing managers from 64 countries working in 19 different sectors supports the conclusions of a recent IFOP (French Institute of Public Opinion) report, commissioned by L'Atelier. Among the major changes observed, the authors of the report identify an exponential increase in data flows (a phenomenon known as ‘Big Data’), the appearance of new tools for information distribution (tablets and smartphones), the increasing part played by social networking tools, and the explosion of new markets, especially in India. But the most surprising finding is the seemingly passive attitude of Marketing managers towards these changes.

A paradoxical attitude on the part of Marketing managers

While 50% of Marketing managers recognise that they lack resources for implementing new ways of working, due to poor forecasting of the changes taking place, most of them claim to have confidence in the traditional tools. So we see that 80% still favour traditional marketing analysis rather than social networks for obtaining information on the customer or on the impact of an advertising campaign. This is a paradox, since it appears that 56% see social networks both as a key influence factor and as a vital source of information. The study concludes by focusing on the changing role of the Marketing manager in the future.

Growing pressure to achieve results

Marketing managers will in future have to make sense of more and more information in less and less time. In addition, a fast-moving and increasingly volatile economy will mean that the emphasis is placed on financial results. Return on Investment will become the most important criterion for appraising Marketing managers, and they will perhaps no longer be able to afford to launch “image” campaigns which cannot show immediate payback. However awareness may be strongest precisely in this area, since 63% of those surveyed share this view and say they are prepared to be judged first and foremost on this criterion.


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