Marketers find reasons to be cheerful, part 1, 2 and 3

sunset-joy2Further evidence has emerged of marketers’ unshakeable optimism over the future of their profession – despite the economic turmoil, the cost of living crisis, the war in Ukraine, and the negative effects of Brexit – with the vast majority making Dr Pangloss look like Morrissey.

That is according to Econsultancy’s 2023 Future of Marketing report, which reveals sentiment remains exactly the same as last year (at 76%) as marketers feel assured of the vital role the industry plays in ‘business as usual’ operations and their organisation’s ability to weather economic storms.

Based on attitudes, behaviours and insights from 835 brand, vendor and agency-side marketers around the world, the report examines the predictions on which key trends and strategic priorities are set to shape the industry outlook for the next 24 months.

It reveals that marketers’ confidence has been buoyed by a focus on not one, not two but three key areas. First up is technological innovation, with the majority (80%) predicting the adoption of new tech will become increasingly important over the next two years, and the leading priority during this time.

Not far behind is the are data, analytics and measurement (75%) with agility and adaptability (73%) in third.

The research also revealed that the highest-performing companies, defined as those that outperform in their market, are more likely to invest in their employees and see customer-centric skills as vital.

This was echoed by Econsultancy’s 2023 Digital Skills survey, which found that most (83%) senior executives say their organisation’s growth depends on rapidly developing their employees’ skills and capabilities to meet emerging customer and business needs.

While the rise of generative artificial intelligence tools has been the talk of the industry for most of this year, the upcoming demise of third-party cookies in Google Chrome remains a major issue.

In fact, only a third (30%) of respondents in the Future of Marketing survey consider their organisation fully or mostly prepared for third-party cookies being phased out.

Even so, marketers are optimistic about the industry’s ability to respond and find alternatives to understanding customer behaviour.

Econsultancy senior analyst Rose Keen said: “The last few years have been characterised by crisis and change. Meaning that any thoughts about the future were coloured, if not obscured, by what was happening in a marketer’s ‘right now’.

“This year a different picture is emerging. One that, though realistic about the current challenges of the economy, channel mix complexity and rapidly evolving technologies, is focused on the future and energised by its possibilities.

However, Keen stresses that marketers confidence should not be mistaken for “blind optimism”.

She concluded: “Marketers’ priorities show they are highly attuned to what’s required to thrive now and into the future. From investment in people and a future fit skill set, to ensuring the right data and tech infrastructure is in place.”

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