Is your marketing future-ready? (Survey says probably not.)

Robin Emiliani  /  Dec 09, 2019

Ask any marketer how important strategy is to success and chances are they’ll tell you “very.” But according to a recent survey by CMO, for most marketers, that’s just lip service.

The truth is that most of us are spending our time putting out fires in the present—not planning for the future.

In fact, when CMO asked marketing leaders how much time they spend dealing with the here and now vs. planning for the future, the here and now won out big. Turns out, the average marketing leader spends 68.5% of their time living in the present and just 31.5% preparing for the future.

And while that’s great if you’re Queen Latifa in Last Holiday, cashing in your retirement on trips to snowy Czech villages and dates with LL Cool J because you’ve only got weeks to live, for marketers, too much living in the moment could trip up your future business plans.

Because here’s the cold, hard truth: Marketers who have a documented strategy are 538% more likely to succeed.

Yep. You read that right. 538%.

Not to mention that a study of 500 marketing case studies found that tactical marketing resulted in predictable sales spikes and declines, while strategic activities like branding resulted in a steady upward trajectory for sales.

It’s the difference between running in place and making slow, steady progress up a mountain.

And yet…despite the fact that strategy sets you up for real growth, 40% of businesses don’t have a marketing strategy and 45% don’t have a digital marketing strategy. Not to mention the stat above about how two thirds of marketing leaders’ time is dedicated to keeping tactics going in the present.

Which means that most of us are still dealing with the trees instead of looking at the forest. And 40% couldn’t find the forest with a map.

Now that’s pretty bleak. But here’s the good news: You’re probably not as far behind as you think. Just documenting your strategy increases your chances of success by over 500%. Just having a strategy puts you ahead of 40% of businesses.

So if you don’t have one? Getting ahead means making that your biggest priority of 2020.

And don’t forget that strategy isn’t a one-time thing. The future is something marketing leaders should always be looking toward. It not only increases your chances of success in terms of sales and ROI goals. It’s also pretty clearly the key to ditching an overreliance on referral business, reducing marketing leaders’ elevated stress levels, and avoiding the #1 biggest mistake B2B businesses make.

And if you’re thinking, yes, that’s exactly what I need in 2020, but you’re not sure where to start? That’s where we come in. Strategy is our wheelhouse, and we’d love to chat about helping with yours.


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