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Less than half of marketers know what their business wants to achieve

14 | 03 | 2017

The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), the world’s leading professional marketing body, champion of customer engagement and best practice is todayreleasing the findings of a new report:“The Challenges and Opportunities facing Marketers in 2017.”  The report highlights a worrying lack of strategic direction for marketers, but also reveals senior management potential for marketers if they have the right skills.

Key findings of the CIM member survey show that:

  • In the year ahead, marketers are most excited about getting more involved in the strategic vision for the company (63%) and driving change within the organisation (61%)
  • 93% think a marketing skills gap at a strategic level is one of the biggest challenges facing businesses today; yet only 14% listed upskilling as a priority for 2017
  • 28% of marketers say marketing has a more strategic role to play in the business, but 34% say it still does not have the seniority needed to effect change.
  • 40% of marketers say they have a clear picture of what the business intends to do in the next 6-12 months and how marketing will help to support those goals; but 19% say they do not feel the business objectives have been clearly communicated to marketing

Strategy lacking as the skills gap looms

When asked what excites them about the next year, two of the most popular choices were getting more involved in the strategic vision for the company (63%) and driving change within the organisation (61%). The survey also showed that 28% of CIM members feel that marketing is taking a more strategic role within the business, due to businesses focus on customer experience and 19% said that marketing has always had a strategic role within their organisation.

However, two fifths (40%) of respondents feel they have a clear picture of what the business intends to do in the next 6-12 months and how marketing will help to support those goals; 10% said the marketing department is often left out of strategic decision making altogether. Slightly more than a tenth (11%) are worried that marketing is not aligned closely enough with business goals and that there is a lack of direction for marketing. As a result, 34% feel that although marketing has more of a strategic role within the business, it does not necessarily have the seniority to impact change.

One of the reasons for this could be the skills gap at a strategic level and the trend towards specialism which is limiting marketers’ strategic vision and insight:

  • 93% of marketers believe a marketing skills gap at the strategic level is one of the biggest challenges facing businesses today. This can be attributed to the rise of specialist marketers and specialised training.
  • 85% think the trend towards specialism could limit marketers’ vision when creating a broader marketing strategy, which could explain why so many marketers think the profession is overlooked when it comes to developing business strategy.
  • Additionally, 92% of marketers think specialising in one area of marketing can mean other skills are less developed, which could include more general skills such as developing marketing strategy.
  • Surprisingly despite these concerns about skills gaps, only 14% of marketers included upskilling staff as a priority for the next year.

Chris Daly, Chief Executive of CIM, comments: “Marketers need to have a strong understanding of the fundamentals of professional marketing and its impact on the business and have the ability to take a step back from the day to day delivery and understand the motivations behind their customers’ decisions. Only then can they develop the right strategy and implement measures to capture and retain their audience and driving meaningful business growth.  

“For marketers needing to close the strategic skills gap, continual professional development (CPD) must play an integral role in their career path. Given the positive attitude marketers have shown towards their influence on strategy over the next year, the evidence suggests that there will be plenty of opportunities for marketers to take more of an influential role – but only if they have the right skills to do so.”

Together with business leaders, academics and senior marketers from across the globe, CIM has developed a new Marketing Leadership Programme which focuses specifically on areas identified by today’s business world as ‘must haves’. Being an equivalent level to a Master’s degree and an ideal stepping stone to an MBA, CIM’s new qualification empowers the individual to tailor their learning around their own career development needs and around the ever-evolving needs of their business which – skills which turn the marketers of today into the business leaders of the future.

For more information about The Chartered Institute of Marketing, please visit: www.cim.co.uk

-Ends-

About the report:

The report is based on recent online research conducted by YouGov (255 marketers surveyed across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) and by the CIM using Survey Monkey (112 members of the CIM were surveyed). A full copy of the report can be found here: “The Challenges and Opportunities facing Marketers in 2017.”

About The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM):

  • CIM is the world’s leading professional marketing body, champion of customer engagement and best practice in the industry
  • CIM is an independent, international organisation that has been supporting, developing and representing the marketing profession for over 100 years
  • CIM has 33,079 members (19,678 professionals and 13,401 students) and 5,357 Chartered Marketers worldwide
  • CIM has 163 study centres in 39 countries and exam centres in 79 countries
  • Find out more about how you can benefit from CIM’s diverse networks and unrivalled resources at www.cim.co.uk
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