Australasian marketers call for ‘dramatic’ change

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A new study shows that marketers recognise the need to change their approach in response to consumer demands and technological change. In Australia and New Zealand three quarters of respondents agreed that the structure and design of their marketing organisation will need to change over the next three to five years.

The findings come from a survey of 660 senior marketers and CMOs around the world, including 92 from Australia and New Zealand. The research was conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit and commissioned by leading marketing software provider Marketo.

One significant shift is the drive towards customer experience and engagement. Conversely, those seeing brand as an important area driven by marketing will fall from 61% of Australasian respondents today, to just 35% in three to five years’ time.

Increased engagement with customers will increasingly come from the use of data. While 42% of Australian & NZ respondents said they weren’t using data to gain customer insights, less than a quarter expect that to be the case in the next few years.

James New, Marketo’s APAC marketing director, says it’s no surprise that marketers have using data for decades to segment prospects. “What we’re seeing now, though, is the next wave of data analysis, where marketers can track behaviour and tailor messages based on the audience and their stage in the buying process,” he said.

The role of technology
The worldwide survey also shows the extent to which technology was being used to engage customers in an ongoing conversation – to build advocacy and trust for a brand. 67% of Australasian marketers say they are already using technology in this way (compared to 58% in the rest of the world), with a further 18% expecting to over the next three to five years.

Marketing’s influence
The rise in the use of data and analytics is increasing the influence marketers have in their organisations. Three quarters of Australian & NZ respondents expect that, in the next three to five years, Marketing will shape their company’s strategy. Overseas marketers are even more confident, with 83 percent indicating they believe this will be the case.

Charles Ross, senior editor at The Economist Intelligence Unit, says marketers all over the globe expect to have an increasing influence on their businesses. “But Australasian marketers perhaps need to focus a little more on accountability,” he said.

“Only 17% of local respondents said revenue impact was a primary marketing metric, compared to 27% in the rest of the world. ANZ marketers will only increase their impact on a company’s approach if they accept revenue responsibility.”

The future
As to the future, 65% of Australian & NZ respondents believe real-time mobile personalised transactions will have a big influence on marketing by 2020 – just 47% of respondents from the rest of the world agreed. Conversely, overseas respondents ranked the Internet of Things as having an influence.

“I think this reflects two things,” says James New. “First, we have a love affair with our mobiles in Australia and New Zealand, and that provides new opportunities for marketers. Secondly, we’re focused on immediate opportunities. That’s why so many marketers are investing in marketing tools and data to build influence today. It shows how realistic we are.”

The methodology
The worldwide survey of 660 senior marketers and CMOs was conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit in November 2014, sponsored by Marketo. 14% of respondents were located in Australia and New Zealand.

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