Marketing Leaders Want More Data-Driven, Explorative Team Cultures

May 19, 2015

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Business of Marketing | Data-driven | Innovation | Internal Collaboration | Staffing

SpencerStuart-Marketing-Team-Culture-May20159 in 10 marketing leaders feel that culture plays a very (60%) or somewhat (30%) influential role in enabling the brand experience, but only about one-quarter believe that their team’s culture needs no change, details Spencer Stuart in a recent survey of more than 200 marketing leaders.

While a majority (52%) feel that only a “slight” change in team culture is needed, 1 in 5 feel that “significant” change is needed.

When asked what qualities they would like to see more of if they could change their marketing team’s culture, respondents pointed to both data and analysis-driven decision-making (52%) and exploration and creative thinking (52%). That both are viewed equally is an interesting result in light of separate survey results released last year by Spencer Stuart. In that study, 7 in 10 senior marketing leaders believed that creativity and analytical ability had been equally important for marketing leaders over the past few years. But, survey respondents felt that analytical orientation would become a more important skill for CMOs to possess, while creativity would become less of a priority over time.

The results also bring to mind an Adobe survey of US marketers released last year, in which a majority of respondents noted that the ideal marketer should take more risks, and half said they were looking to experiment more and test and evolve their marketing strategies. In light of those results, perhaps it’s not surprising that very few marketing leaders responding to the Spencer Stuart report would want to see their team culture change to more planning, caution and thoughtfulness (5%), instead preferring a change towards decisiveness and bold action (41%).

Meanwhile, despite all the recent focus on ROI, a more results-oriented team culture isn’t top of mind for marketing leaders (cited by 43%), though it isn’t too far behind.

Somewhat surprisingly given the above results, only 16% of respondents reported that a leader needs to be analytical to fit within the marketing team’s culture. By comparison, 86% believe that leaders need to be innovative, creative and able to lead change in order to fit within the marketing function’s culture. Fewer than half as many (36%) felt that leaders needed those innovative and creative skills to fit in the organizational culture.

Likewise, a collaborative and team-oriented culture appears to be a better fit within the marketing team than the wider organizational culture. By contrast, skills that are better suited to the organizational than marketing team culture include managing risk appropriately and being respectful and rule-abiding. In other words, marketing leaders tend to associate organizational culture with more conservative qualities, and their own teams with more innovative skills.

No wonder more than 8 in 10 say they’ve experienced friction between the marketing function’s culture and the broader organization’s culture…

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