Marketers’ Role More Strategic Than in Years Past, a Ways to Go Yet

April 8, 2008

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Marketing’s role has become more strategic over the past three years as marketers have helped to drive innovation and new business development at their organizations, according to a joint study by the Association of National Advertisers and BtoB.

The study was based on an online survey of 383 marketers, conducted in February and March by research firm Guideline. The respondents were made up of 167 B2B marketers, 86 B2C marketers and 130 hybrid marketers.

Some of the findings of the ANA/BtoB study:

  • Among companies that had undergone a reorganization (some 70% in the past three years, according to another ANA strudy), 62% of the B2B marketers cited marketing communications as the primary role of marketing prior to the reorganization.
  • Marcom was cited as the primary role following reorganization by 47% of B2B marketers.
  • One of the biggest shifts has been in the primacy of strategy: Only 14% of B2B marketers identified strategy/innovation as their primary role prior to reorganization; 24% said strategy/innovation was their primary role following reorganization.
  • Another function seeing elevated status among marketers is directing new business development: Only 10% of B2B marketers said new business development was a primary goal prior to reorganization, compared with 23% following reorganization.
  • Though B2B marketers’ role has become more strategic, only 11% said marketing “always” makes strategic decisions in the organization; 37% said “most of the time.”
  • That’s in contrast to the 17% of B2C marketers who said marketing “always” makes strategic decisions, and 39% who said “most of the time.”
  • Just 49% of B2B marketers said marketing works in partnership with the CEO “most of the time” or “always.” That’s in contrast to 58% of the B2C marketers who said so.
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