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Marketers see challenges shift as technology advances

Staff writer |
Marketers almost never have time to step back from the day-to-day demands of their jobs and take a long look at where their profession is heading.

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Recently, though, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) surveyed 600 marketing executives around the world to gauge their views on the future. Almost half the respondents were from Western Europe, with the largest regional groups in France, Germany and the UK. Their answers were analyzed separately.

The study, sponsored by Marketo, concluded that several major shifts currently underway will effectively redefine the nature of marketing and also change the role of marketers to some degree. Some 87% of those polled agreed they would need to change the structure and design of their marketing organization within three to five years to align more closely with business needs.

Perhaps predictably, most of the marketing executives polled in Western Europe could already see the marketing function transforming the future shape of their businesses. At the moment, the effects of marketing were most evident in advertising and branding, customer experience and engagement, and digital and social media, according to regional respondents.

But they expected significant differences within three to five years. Only 45% of respondents said they thought they would be responsible in the same way for advertising and branding, for example—compared with 75% who counted that as part of their current work.

Instead, more than half the marketers sampled said their marketing activity would likely be driving ecommerce (55%), customer retention (54%) and customer cross-selling and upselling (52%).

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