• 08 June 2017

    Have you ever wondered what keeps your marketing peers awake at night? How other organisations are approaching the marketing transformation that’s sweeping our industry? Or even how other CMOs are preparing for a future media ecosystem?

    ISBA sits in a privileged position, in a constant dialogue with and surveying the behaviours of the biggest brands in the country, this gives us a unique perspective on what’s exciting and worrying our marketers and enables us to track key trends and activities.

    This week we are thrilled to share some brand new insights from a tracking study, Media 2020 on which we partnered with MediaSense and IPSOS Connect. The study explores how ISBA members are organising themselves to meet the challenges of the rapidly evolving media ecosystem.

    With over 260 senior marketers and media decision makers taking part, the report is one of the most comprehensive surveys on marketing change management to date and builds on trends we identified in a similar study in 2015.

    The report indicates that ISBA members are a progressive bunch, leading the way in reconfiguring themselves into more data driven, customer centric businesses.

    All interviewees agreed that organising resources around customers also means owning customer strategy and customer data. Over three quarters of respondents (78%) rate data analytics and data insights as a critical media capability (vs. 67% in 2015) and over half (54%) see data management as an in-house capability (up from 42% in 2015). 

    Marketers told us they felt empowered by data, that it enables them to be more accountable and drives more authority for marketing at board level. For all, insight from data, not the data itself, was absolutely crucial to driving growth of their organisation and controlling that customer data, allowing greater visibility of the customer journey, was critical.  

    In-sourcing data management activities, data modelling and data activation is increasingly common amongst brands as they build their confidence. This is having an interesting effect on agency relationships, with over half the respondents in the survey claiming they would seek strategic advice on data management not from their agency partners but from their own internal teams, or as one senior marketer put it:

    “As a result of the new insight performance teams, we have taken back strategic control of our brands from agencies”

    And this charge to in-house activities is being led by the c-suite, over two-thirds (68%) of directors agreed that marketers will do more in-house.  Amongst more data- driven businesses there is an imperative to bring in new specialist talent with distinct skill sets, especially around data science.

    Marketing is broadening its scope and taking control with the emergence of new super integrated marketing teams including data scientists, marketing scientists, analysts and engineers working seamlessly together to drive growth.  Agile ways of working are breaking down organisational silos.

    Agility of operating models is now a prerequisite, both internally and externally, in order to achieve this data driven, customer centric nirvana. Key requirements of new operating models highlighted were flexibility, adaptability, scalability and iterative thinking over rigid process.

    Agency partners are now expected to present more flexible, varied and agile models, to experiment and change as their client needs evolve BUT many felt agency models were not evolving quickly enough and are hampered by legacy structures and processes.  And in a watch out for the agency community, 62% of respondents said they will be using fewer agencies in the future.

    In essence this study affirms that marketing will continue on its road to transformation, many are already on the data delivery superhighway, but many more are yet to progress.  There is only one certainty in this current environment and that is that more change is to come,  a fact echoed by the 80% of respondents who indicated that further organisational change is required if they are going to develop and deliver dynamic creative.

    Get your copy of the full report

    Media 2020 is rich in insight and I have only touched on a tiny part of what we discovered here, for further insights you can request a copy of the report from me.  


    Debbie Morrison
    Director of Consultancy & Best Practice, ISBA