Based on a recent survey of marketing professionals at companies in the Americas, Frost & Sullivan finds that marketing executives are still concerned with the global economic downturn (28% of respondents) and its consequences—intensifying competition (19%) and changes in customer buying behavior (16%)—as the external factors that executives cite as having the most impact on 2010 marketing plans.
The survey, conducted by Frost & Sullivan's Growth Team Membership™ executive development program, sought to better understand business environment factors and the key issues facing marketing executives in 2010, in addition to the effects on budgets, staffing, and marketing planning. The top five key issues cited by survey participants include identifying new adjacent market opportunities (19% of respondents), identifying new opportunities for existing products (11%), and measuring marketing spend efficiency and effectiveness (10%).
New to this year's survey was the differentiation of responses based on whether the marketer works in a B-to-B, B-to-C, or a hybrid environment. B-to-B marketers are re-prioritizing their content offerings, measuring the efficiency and effectiveness of their marketing spend, and identifying ways to integrate more effectively with their primary marketing channel—the sales force. In comparison, B-to-C marketers are re-evaluating the customer, and focusing on brand—reassessing brand investments and finding ways to increase brand differentiation.
"The data highlights that marketing's top challenges are variable across business models," explains Keith O'Brien, Senior Director of Global Research for Frost & Sullivan's Growth Team Membership program. "We also learned that staff or process issues are the key root causes of marketing's top challenges."
As expected, executives foresee their budgets staying the same throughout 2010, with the largest budget item being staff. Additionally, staffing levels are predicted to stay the same, or see a moderate increase.
For more information on this survey and the prominent issues identified by the marketing function, please contact Jake Wengroff, 210.247.3806, jake.wengroff[.]frost.com.
Frost & Sullivan's Growth Team Membership™ is an annual subscription program that supports the individual members of a CEO's executive team in achieving the company's top-line growth objectives. The membership includes career-focused events, implementation-oriented best practices research, and targeted services. A Growth Team Membership will speed the design and implementation of a company's growth initiatives (avoid reinventing the wheel); reduce risk by avoiding pitfalls encountered by peers; stimulate problem solving through a cross-industry perspective; improve an executive's contribution to the CEO's growth agenda; and accelerate the executive's professional and career development.
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