A recent study of marketing leaders has revealed the strategies that they are adopting to tackle the priorities of the business in this time of change.

Michael Page Australia partnered with marketing and digital advisory Arktic Fox to produce Marketing State of Play 2021: An Australian Study, where four in five marketers stated either their budgets were maintained at current levels or was reduced over the past 12 months, in turn, heightening the importance of driving better performance and efficiency.

The report revealed 68% of surveyed participants are looking to adopt better measurement to identify opportunities to improve performance. This was followed by 40% identifying that they will look to in-housing resources, while 39% will cut programs that do not add value or provide a good return.

Arktic Fox Founder and Director Teresa Sperti said better measurement will be a key initiative for marketing leaders to deploy to help achieve these outcomes, while in-housing resources has been a trend occurring globally.

“Too often, measurement frameworks within marketing functions focus on short-term campaign-based metrics,” Sperti underscored.

“A robust measurement approach should focus on understanding performance over the short- and long-term, not only at campaign level, but at customer and brand level as well – it should enable marketers to understand and articulate the impact that marketing is having on business outcomes.”

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She added that cost, speed to market and an ability to connect the customer experience are just some of the many reasons that marketers are increasingly looking to in-housing to drive performance and efficiency.

Of those marketing and digital leaders who indicated plans to in-house services, when asked to select their top three areas, 61% said content would be their key focus, followed by 42% looking to concentrate on social.

Data & analytics and creative services came in next, at 38% and 33% respectively, while MarTech and media planning & buying made the in-house list as fifth and sixth focus priorities.

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Michael Page Director Leela Lewis added that while in-housing is a broader global trend, “we are seeing strong Australian adoption”.

“It comes as little surprise that social and content top the list of services marketers have or are planning to in-house. The nature of these disciplines often mean agency workflows are not equipped to deal with the immediacy and agility required,” Lewis noted.

“We believe that this data signals an evolution occurring in the market in the way clients will procure certain services. While it won’t be an all-or-nothing approach, agencies need to think how to best support clients with an in-housing model and where value can be added.”

The study also explores the prominent skills and capacity gaps within marketing teams, the size and scale of budget cuts and budgeting approaches, plus MarTech challenges and investment levels.

It was based on a survey of 233 marketing and digital leaders, operating across a broad number of sectors across Australia, conducted from 2 January to 5 March 2021.

To access the full Marketing State of Play 2021: An Australian Study, click the image below.

Australian Marketing Outlook Report

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