Rainger & Rolfe have dived into the pressures of uncertainty CMO’s are facing in with a new internal report. The results showed obvious challenges, but also a degree of optimism for newly created opportunities.
2020 has been a rollercoaster for marketers, as brands find their feet for what is our first global pandemic. Rainger & Rolfe held a recent survey of these marketers and their agency requirements, which lead to some interesting insight from the marketers leading the charge despite all that’s been against them this year.
This is what Ant Rainger had to say about their findings;
One of the common themes to emerge is around the complexities of driving growth and the abundance of marketing options. Some suggested there’s almost too many. Much of the debate centered around the sacrifices and trade offs given limited resources. Is now the time to invest in brand at the expense of short term sales ? Or innovation and NPD at the expense of squeezing the existing assets ? Is brand awareness still an all important driver of sales ? Do the benefits of an always-on digital media strategy outweigh the advantages of less time in the market – but bigger impact ? Which way to roll when the data-driven metrics conflict with gut instinct ? Is the acquisition of an interesting young start up a better way to break into new markets and acquire new customers ?
These and other questions will continue. What wasn’t debated was the role of the creative agency and what they need to deliver. Fresh thinking, insights, advice and an external perspective makes sense with boards and management teams demanding progress, differentiation and growth. It may also come from the realisation inhousing and home-grown creative has advantages but can get stale. Most of the good creative agencies are populated with energetic and enquiring minds working across a wide range of FMCG, services, technology, government, start ups, listed and private businesses. Their sheer variation of conversations, projects and activities will almost always lead to better, more stimulating creative solutions for their clients.
Despite Covid, the more ambitious CMO’s remain optimistic. Talking and listening to them, it’s hard not to get a sense uncertainty creates opportunities and while their competitors retreat, they are looking to advance. Jen Rolfe recently said on national television : “You can’t quiet your way through this” and the Peter Field and Mark Ritson research work – amongst others – would suggest she is right.
Closely monitoring the trends in consumer behavior was a frequent mention amongst the more data-driven marketers. Beyond the data provided by their own research and media agencies, an array of accessible datapoints now exist in the market including but not limited to reports by Datamine, Perceptive, TRA and NZ Post.
If marketing’s role is to drive business growth, this research suggests agencies will continue to play a major role partnering CMO’s and adding an external perspective. The advice may not always be what they want to hear, but they also know, it’s what they need to hear.