Board meetings, greenwashing, ineffective metrics: 5 interesting stats to start your week

We arm you with all the numbers you need to tackle the week ahead.

One in three marketers get less than an hour to present to the board

One in three senior marketers gets less than an hour every year to present their results to the company board.

A study of more than 550 in-house, non-agency marketers found 30% get less than an hour a year – the equivalent of five minutes per month – with their board. Male marketers get more ‘airtime’ than women, with 11% of female marketers saying they get no time with the board at all.

One in four marketers report interruptions or having their time cut short while presenting, while 37% reports C-suite members are often distracted during the marketing presentation. Yawning, eye-rolling, chatting between themselves and taking phone calls were all experienced by study participants.

More than two fifths (42%) of respondents infer that there is a limited understanding of marketing at board level and would like easier ways to demonstrate the impact of marketing activity. Reach, for example, is a popular metric among C-suite directors who struggle to understand the concept, the report finds.

Source: Bottle

Two thirds of B2B brands admit to ‘greenwashing’

A survey of 500 in-house B2B marketers finds 64% say their organisations are leading the way when it comes to climate action, while 62% admit to greenwashing.

Commissioned in the wake of new anti-greenwashing rules introduced at the end of last month by the UK Financial Conduct Authority, the study finds an over-reliance on dubious practices to provide evidence of environmental progress. Some 60% of participants are involved in carbon offsetting schemes and 63% claim to be carbon neutral, both ‘proof points’ that are facing increased scrutiny from regulators.

In spite of their optimism, 63% of the B2B marketing participants in the research have concerns about the claims they are making, while 30% say they do so acting on instructions from more senior managers.

“Greenwashing is not just an environmental issue – it’s a business problem,” says Malin Cunningham, founder of content marketing agency Hattrick which commissioned the research. “If companies are allowed to continue to make unsubstantiated claims – albeit unwittingly – it’s unfair from a trading perspective.”

Source: Hattrick

Marketers ‘preoccupied with wrong effectiveness metrics’

Marketers are “preoccupied” with measuring the least helpful effectiveness metrics, according to new research from the Direct Marketing Association.

Based on a databank of more than 1,500 campaigns, the report identifies four categories of ‘meaningful KPIs’. These are response effects (short-term, performance marketing), brand effects (longer-term brand-building metrics), business effects (related to overall business performance) and campaign delivery effects (reach, frequency and impressions). 

While 92% of marketers claim to be able to distinguish between these effects, the report argues they have been too focused on campaign metrics that “tell us little about overall marketing effectiveness”.

According to the DMA data, 39% of metrics used in the reporting of marketing effectiveness in 2023 were “less meaningful” campaign delivery and “digital vanity metrics”, while 61% relate to “meaningful” business, brand and response effects.

This breaks down to 39% of campaign metrics being used to measure success, followed by response (30%), brand (21%) and business (10%).  

The report charts a marginal increase in the measurement of business effects between 2020 (6%) and 2023 (10%). Brand effectiveness metrics have increased slightly too, up from 15% in 2020 to 21% in 2023. 

When it comes to marketers’ preferred measurement methods, attribution modelling/MTA comes out on top, used in 36% of campaigns. This is followed closely by brand tracking (35%), econometrics (26%) and brand uplift studies (12%), while geo-testing (3%) and pre-testing (2%) are the least popular.

Source: Direct Marketing Association

Over 80% of marketers say company identity must change to achieve objectives

A study of more than 1,150 business leaders and employees found 84% believe that their company identity needs to change significantly to meet its goals.

Three quarters (75%) of respondents to the Gartner Marketing and Narrative Impact Survey say their organisation needs to do a better job of aligning the views of external audiences with the company’s identity and direction.

Meanwhile, 72% of business leaders say their marketing function is not instrumental to the company’s business evolution, despite having accountability for the brand.

“Marketing leaders must invest in a corporate narrative to create a bridge between brand and strategy,” says Dorian Cundick, vice-president advisory in the Gartner Marketing Practice.

“Marketing is most likely to be seen as a strategic partner in business evolution when leaders play a significant role in narrative activation efforts like mobilising the narrative externally through campaigns, as opposed to development activities like finalising the narrative framework, or testing it with key stakeholders.”

Source: Gartner

More than two-thirds of customers in favour of ‘responsible and transparent’ AI personalisation

More than two-thirds of UK consumers are comfortable with marketers using AI to improve personalisation, but they have mixed views on the data that is used to achieve marketing goals.

According to Adobe’s Digital Trends Report, 64% of the more than 1,000 UK consumers surveyed are comfortable with brands using AI if it improves personalisation of online communications and recommendations.

Some 57% were happy for their age and gender to be used for these purposes, but only 28% were comfortable sharing their ethnicity. A quarter (25%) were happy to share their online browsing activity and 21% felt the same about their social media activity. A further 15% were comfortable sharing their income.

More than a third of marketers are using Gen AI solutions, with 25% using them to craft copy for emails and other purposes.

“Generative AI stands to be a powerful tool, but the message to brands is clear – they must take care not to overstep the mark,” says Adobe EMEA marketing director Christophe Marée, .

“Use it responsibly by training their AI on authentic and certified content, and maintain a high degree of transparency and data governance.”

Source: Adobe