Are marketers choosing short-term tactics over long-term strategy? | DMA

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Are marketers choosing short-term tactics over long-term strategy?


A key focus for many marketers is improving their effectiveness cultures by 2020, according to research from the IPA and ISBA released at the Eff Works conference. However, the research also reveals that many marketers (73% of marketers and 73% of agencies) are prioritising short-term tactics over long-term strategy.

The research combines the insights of over 60 brand companies from all sectors, 60 agencies, 100 marketers and finance professionals and 120 agency management, to assess all aspects of ‘Marketing Effectiveness Culture’. Bringing together both quantitative data (responses to 80+ questions) and wide-ranging perspectives (400+ comments), the study explores what companies are doing to assess the impact of their marketing activity and how they are doing it.

The lack of strategic planning is concerning, with 22% of marketers and 60% of agency execs strongly disagreeing that their marketing objectives focus on the next one to three years (just 14% and 4% respectively say they ‘strongly agree’).

The flip side to this is that 59% of marketers and 34% of agencies agree the plans they have in place are focused on the short-term (one to six months). In addition, the majority of marketers (76%) say ‘great importance’ is put on being able to demonstrate ROI and a similar number (70%) have a focus on reviewing and reporting individual campaign/activity/channel effectiveness.

However, this focus on measurement doesn’t necessarily mean all marketers are confident in these metrics. The DMA’s own ‘Marketer Email Tracker 2018’ highlights that just half (50%) of marketers are confident their organisation can calculate ROI. When this is expanded to concepts of the lifetime value of a customer this confidence dipped further, to just 22% of marketers.

This lack of confidence may well be down to the fragmented (68%) and ad-hoc (67%) approaches to measurement that marketers reported in the study by the IPA and ISBA. As Libby Child, Founding Partner of Greengrass Consulting, sums up: “The depth, detail and variety of responses highlight the complexity of the challenges facing marketers and their agencies as they strive to develop effective solutions, together, for the short and long term. There is certainly a will, but the way is not so easy.”

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