The Great Marketing Declutter: New Accenture Research Reveals How a Small Group of Marketers Are Thriving Despite Constant Market Disruption

Research finds certain marketing organizations are outperforming their peers in revenue growth, profitability and customer satisfaction

Nearly 70% of marketing executives globally say that the past year has completely exhausted their employees, found new research from Accenture. While this comes as no surprise given the heightened levels of employee burnout cited around the world, there is a silver lining.

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“Marketers who have seized the pandemic as a forcing function to redefine what they do, how they do it, and the overall role of marketing in business are the ones who have become successful and are driving business growth”

Produced by Accenture Interactive and titled, “The Great Marketing Declutter,” the report identified a small group of marketers — just 17% of more than 1,000 marketing executives surveyed — whose marketing organizations are thriving despite all of the change, uncertainty and complexity from the past 18 months. This group — which the research identifies as “Thrivers” — found the vast majority (86%) of their employees at these organizations have been energized by a new purpose of servicing customers’ rapidly changing motivations.

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Thrivers are decluttering marketing to manage complexities, with 59% of them noting that their marketing organization is much stronger today than last year because they’ve been pushed to think about marketing entirely differently. Thrivers have zeroed in on their customers’ evolving motivations and what’s needed to serve them in smarter, better ways. They’ve focused on what matters, discarded what doesn’t, and rewired the rest. As a result, they find greater meaning in their work, which is critical to serving the business and its customers and to retaining and attracting employees.

The report breaks the remaining respondents down into two other groups, based on specific aspects of their customer relationships: “Strivers” — accounting for two-thirds (66%) of the executives surveyed — who have some autonomy to meet customer needs but have limited awareness of customer changes; and “Survivors” — accounting for the remaining 17% — who are burnt out and not in tune with the pulse of customer change, assuming that such change is only temporary.

“Marketers who have seized the pandemic as a forcing function to redefine what they do, how they do it, and the overall role of marketing in business are the ones who have become successful and are driving business growth,” said Jeannine Falcone, global marketing services lead, Accenture Interactive. “In-the-moment relevancy is critical for today’s brands, and you can’t do that if you’re operating from the same old playbook.”

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