Chloe Washington, HubSpot
There’s a disconnect in marketing. Have you felt it?
Over the last decade, there’s been an explosion of new marketing tools. And with everything AI that isn’t slowing down any time soon. But these tools that help execute marketing campaigns are often completely siloed from how the business of marketing is run.
Can marketers connect results back to the plans, budgets, and corporate goals that are spread across dozens of spreadsheets and PowerPoints?
Probably not. Certainly not as fast as they need to when the CFO asks which programs impact revenue.
We call this chaotic state of operations the fog of marketing. It leads to wasted time, money, and resources as well as missed opportunities for success.
So, how can you tell if you’re stuck in the fog of marketing?
Too many marketing teams still rely on spreadsheets and manual processes to manage their budgets. But this approach usually leads to errors and inaccurate budget tracking. A lot of errors.
According to Forbes, 88% of spreadsheets have significant errors. And these aren’t little errors like Excel deciding that you really want that number to be a date. These are significant errors like 10% of your budget is being wasted on redundant programs. Errors that could be avoided if the whole budget process wasn’t so manual.
With 63% of marketing organizations using spreadsheets for budgeting and planning that is a lot of effort for not much reward. Not to mention the time that all those manual processes take up. Marketers spend hours gathering, organizing, and calculating their data—time they could be using more productively.
In an ideal world, marketing strategy would directly flow into plans that marketing teams can easily access, follow, and measure their performance against. All in one place. Unfortunately, that’s not the reality for every marketing team.
The last few years have seen so many market changes and new challenges. At the same time, marketers are trying to navigate a complex and ever-evolving customer landscape.
It becomes an even greater challenge when teams are siloed. Without clear communication or priorities, it’s impossible to effectively execute marketing campaigns. The lack of visibility and accuracy can erode trust between marketing teams and other departments. The disconnect often leads to wasted resources, misaligned messaging, and a disjointed customer experience.
Marketing leaders often struggle to prove their value to the rest of the C-suite despite their critical role in driving business growth. With data locked in disconnected tools and spreadsheets, marketing leaders are left in the dark, unable to track the effectiveness of their campaigns in real time. The lack of visibility makes it nearly impossible to evaluate campaign performance accurately or make strategic pivots to stay on track with targets.
In a survey of marketing leaders, we found that 61% don’t have enough confidence in their own ROI data to use it in decision making. Without trustworthy performance data, marketing leaders lack the speed and confidence needed to make changes quickly in response to market disruptions or changing customer preferences. And it doesn’t help that some areas like brand building were always notoriously difficult to measure.
Without visibility, marketing leaders can’t deliver what the C-suite expects from them: strategic leadership and full accountability.
This problem isn’t unique to any one organization or industry—it’s rampant throughout the marketing world. Traditional methods of planning and budgeting have become outdated and ineffective. And marketers need a new way of operating if they want to stay ahead of the competition.
It’s time to clear the fog of marketing by adopting a new operating model: marketing business acceleration.
This model closes the gaps between planning, spending, and execution to provide marketing leaders with a clear picture of marketing ROI. Marketers operate on real-time insights based on trusted data, not isolated spreadsheets. By adopting this model, marketing leaders can gain visibility, connect their marketing strategies with execution, and move with speed and confidence.
It’s time to leave the outdated, disconnected, and opaque model behind and redefine marketing operations for the future.