How well is marketing understood?

Marketing is a key function within any business, central to its success. It builds brand awareness, increases sales and engages consumers.

But according to a new study, just 34.8% of marketers feel that colleagues throughout their organisation understand the role of marketing. 50.2% of those questioned said marketing is somewhat understood, while 13.5% say marketing is not understood at all.

Looking at the findings from Marketing Week’s annual Career and Salary survey, there is clearly some way to go before marketers are valued and recognised for the work they do.

The survey revealed that different business sectors have different levels of awareness and appreciation for their marketing teams. Agencies have the best grasp of marketing, with 54.9% of respondents saying their role is completely understood by colleagues. As we move through the sectors we find this level of understanding declines: gaming and gambling (53.3%), FMCG, (51.3%), travel and leisure (47.5%), public sector (22.4%), and construction (17.5%).

Responding to the travel and leisure figures, Ryanair’s CMO Kenny Jacobs was surprised to learn there wasn’t a better understanding of marketing in his sector. He commented: ‘It’s an industry where communication plays a key role. It’s a very competitive consumer category, so communicating what your product is, what the value is and your proposition to your target consumer, is central to every single travel business.

Zoe Clapp, CMO at UKTV, agreed that more needed to be done to ensure businesses understood the importance of marketing. She highlighted that despite the fact marketing has a simple aim to grow market share and grow the business the complicated language and jargon used by marketers can make it hard to comprehend.

The Career and Salary survey featured 4,154 marketers from 24 industries, with interviewees ranging from graduates to board directors. As well as the role of marketing, the survey explored well-being, diversity, the gender pay gap, job satisfaction, and the top sectors to work in.

As the study demonstrated, marketing continues to be misunderstood by businesses. It’s often seen as a cost rather than an investment. The study also showed that more needs to be done to help break down organisational siloes, encourage greater collaboration, and rectify the gender pay gap.

Adare International helps companies around the world deliver innovative, integrated marketing solutions. With more than 30 years’ experience, we can help you simplify your workflow and improve its impact, while at the same time demonstrating the true value of marketing throughout your whole company.

Some of your colleagues may not understand you, but we all do at Adare. Get in touch today:


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