If you work in marketing, you’re accustomed to change. You’re familiar with the energy it takes to keep up with new tools, new challenges, new strategies—and you’re constantly weighing that investment against the time you’re spending on the actual work of marketing itself.
The rate of change shows no signs of slowing. As businesses adjust their growth strategies in the face of potential economic downturn, marketing teams are under pressure to boost efficiency and optimize technology spend. In our recent survey of more than 300 marketing leaders, we found they are struggling to keep their teams connected, inspired, and performant as the scope of work continues to evolve.
All-too-relatable numbers show that we’re balancing deep work with chasing asset approvals, communicating the same information in multiple places, keeping data up-to-date, and proving our value as marketers. Thankfully, clear commonalities emerge in teams who are reaching goals and surpassing revenue targets—giving marketing leaders some clear ideas for increasing success.
This five-minute read will give you a high-level overview of some key findings. For the full story, download the report here.
Marketing leaders struggle to prove ROI, stifling employee engagement
While the rest of the organization is increasingly reliant on marketing to contribute to revenue, marketing leaders are struggling to determine how their campaigns contribute to growth.
- 81% of marketing leaders report that their team is responsible for contributing to organizational revenue goals
- Fewer than 1 in 3 marketing leaders have even moderate visibility into the ROI of campaigns
This isn’t only a problem for budgeting and prioritizing purposes. It also exacerbates the risk of team exhaustion. According to Gallup, poor communication from managers (specifically around expectations, performance goals, and alignment to business goals) is a top factor contributing to employee burnout. The same research finds employees who are burnt out are 63% more likely to take a sick day, 23% more likely to visit the emergency room, and 2.6x as likely to be actively seeking a different job.
The flip side of this narrative is also instructive. When companies do invest in improving the factors contributing to burnout—establishing clear expectations and performance goals, showing alignment and impact to broader business goals, increasing time for creative work, etc.— they typically see an outsized increase in employee engagement. Notably, this report also found that marketing teams who are aligned with company-wide strategic goals are more likely to have efficient workflows and meet expectations and revenue targets.
The takeaway is clear: As pressure mounts, align your team’s initiatives to the bottom line. Show the thread between what your team is working on, and overall business impact and growth.
To get started quickly, download the Airtable OKR tracking template that can be used as a dashboard for tracking employees' OKRs, and can be customized to fit your team's workflow.
Collaboration is challenging, especially with folks outside marketing
We’ve all experienced the challenges of siloed or disconnected teams. You complete a project only to discover another team has done the same work in parallel, or you haven’t brought in the right stakeholders.
This frustration is widespread, with 74% of marketing teams reporting their workflow is siloed and has disconnected processes. Put simply: if you’re not on the marketing team, you may as well be at another company.
- 73% of marketing leaders found it moderately or very easy to collaborate within marketing
- 66% of marketing leaders found it moderately or very easy to collaborate with those outside of marketing, within the org
- 62% of marketing leaders found it moderately or very easy to collaborate with those outside of the organization entirely
Most likely, this disconnect starts at the planning stage, with teams making decisions in silos because data and information is not connected in one, collectively accessible place. Unsurprisingly, siloed workflows are correlated with negative outcomes, including more time spent on non-core tasks, and reduced ability to meet deadlines and fulfill objectives and goals.
But investing in collaboration pays off—those teams who find collaboration ‘very easy’ reported significant advantages over teams who find collaboration more difficult. For example, 33% of marketing leaders who find it ‘very easy’ to collaborate with the wider organization strongly agree their teams’ workflow is easy to scale up to increase marketing deliverables, compared to 17% who find collaboration ‘very difficult’ to ‘slightly easy’.
Successful teams are reducing workflow friction, investing in no code
To discover what we can learn from the most engaged, effective marketing teams, we cross-referenced various identifiers—for example, teams who are responsible for revenue, teams who report high workflow efficiency, and teams who use no code—with specific outcomes, including the ability to achieve goals, meet deadlines, and surpass revenue targets.
We found some common signals of success, and they directly relate to marketing’s responsibility to reduce friction and improve efficiency. They include:
Revenue driving teams are high achievers (and more likely to prove it)
Marketing teams who are responsible for organizational revenue goals show significant operational improvements, compared to teams who are not aligned with revenue-based outcomes. These teams are also able to unlock factors shown to bolster employee engagement.
No code adoption shapes more successful marketing teams
This report shows that no code not only improves outcomes, but also positively impacts team culture. Teams who adopt no code are more resilient—they can customize their workflows more effectively, which means they’re more adaptable. They also find it easier to act according to data and they spend significantly less time in meetings and on manual work.
Teams investing in workflow efficiency experience better outcomes
Teams with efficient workflows can more easily connect data across sources and turn that data into action, compared to teams with inefficient workflows. Efficient teams are also 5x more likely to reach goals, twice as likely to meet deadlines, and 3x more likely to exceed revenue targets.
If you’re interested in learning more about the changes facing marketing teams, download the full report. Or, to see how Airtable helps marketers adapt quickly and solidify their role within organizations, watch our demo for marketing teams.