We had hoped to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Yearly Marketing Survey (YMS) with a positive outlook from the Belgian Marketing community about their profession and challenges. Unfortunately, pessimism still keeps its grasp on marketers in 2013.
Many of the same themes heard over the past years keep coming back; being more relevant to customers, insufficient integration of on- and offline, low usage of metrics (social media metrics in particular), the need to seek growth through innovation, to name but a few.
Have we run out of energy? Have we lost our resilience? We believe marketing is the greatest profession in the world and yet it seems as if marketers are tired of being marketers…
The Marketer’s Confidence Index (MCI) is a reflection of how marketers feel about the evolution of their budgets and team size. This year, it is at the same pessimistic level as last year. There also continues to be a correlation between the evolution of the Consumer Confidence Index and the MCI, however the MCI is a little less negative.
Doing More with Less
Overall pressure on marketing departments continues. Belgian marketers expect budgets to continue to be cut in 2013 (a trend since 2010, with the exception of 2011). In last year’s survey, we saw the first signs that not only were marketing budgets being reviewed in a downward direction, but team sizes were being questioned too. This trend has been confirmed by this year’s results.
The number of projects to be carried out seems to stay the same, which leads us to the conclusion that, yet again, marketers need to do more with less.
Let’s Get Our Act Together
What can we do? I see two options. We can whine and complain that things are not going our way. Or we can get our act together and take initiative, be agile and embrace societal and technological trends. We can use our role to drive growth (even with fewer resources) and stop trying to tackle challenges by spreading our attention thinly across lots of activities which leads to incoherent use of resources and talent. We need to focus.
Let’s stop talking and start doing.