Focus on marketing effectiveness in decline, study shows

Exclusive Marketing Week data finds fewer marketers feel more attention is being paid to proving the effectiveness of their work.

Language of Effectiveness 2024The focus on marketing effectiveness across the wider industry appears to be in decline, according to findings from Marketing Week’s exclusive 2024 Language of Effectiveness study, supported by Kantar.

Only just over half (53.4%) of the more than 1,200 marketers surveyed believe attention on effectiveness has ramped up over the past three years.

The number of respondents who agree there has been a greater focus on marketing effectiveness over the past three years fell from 75% in 2022 to 61.2% in 2023, showing a declining trend.

Returning to the 2024 sample, just over half (52.4%) of marketers working in B2B businesses say the effectiveness agenda has grown in importance since 2021, compared to 53.8% of their peers in B2C. Some 52.3% of marketers working in large organisations (250 employees and over) say the focus on marketing effectiveness has grown over the past three years, compared to 57.3% of their peers in SMEs. 

The pronounced, steady decline in the value put on effectiveness suggests companies might be reassessing what they expect from their marketing departments.

As reported earlier this week, the Language of Effectiveness data reveals a third (32.3%) of marketers say defending/growing sales has become substantially more important for their company in the current economic climate.

Proof points and pricing: ‘Demystifying’ marketing effectiveness

A further 30.5% of respondents say defending/growing profit margins through price has increased substantially in importance as a company objective. This is ahead of communicating a consistent and desirable brand image (29.4%), maximising cut-through (29.4%) and growing market share (28.1%).

The Language of Effectiveness data also finds growing market share is ranked as the most important job for marketing teams, according to 46.2% of survey respondents.

Indeed, growing market share outranks the communication of a consistent and desirable brand image (44.7%), defending or growing sales (37.3%), maximising cut-through with target audiences, and defending/growing margins (26%).

Over the coming weeks, Marketing Week will be publishing a series of exclusive news and feature articles based on the findings of the 2024 Language of Effectiveness survey, including a deep dive exploring whether the effectiveness agenda is stalling and why.