A recent study by the American Marketing Association and Kantar Consulting takes a look at marketers’ optimism and abilities in the first Marketers’ Confidence Index of 2018. Marketing’s reach today has evolved into the realm of technology and social media requiring a constant attention to learning new skills and adopting new tools. Examining how marketers feel about their roles and the changing landscape provides an opportunity for reflection and analysis for your own companies as well.

According to the survey, marketers from the B2B and B2C arenas are encouraged about the outlook of marketing in their organizations, ranking their confidence at 130. A score of 100 would mean that they simply believe customer spending, marketing budgets, and the investment climate will remain stable.

Additionally, 59 percent of marketers are confident about their brand and that their revenue will grow in the next six months.

Concerning their budgets, marketers are allocating more money to media (21%) and creative for all channels (20%). Asked what they would spend a 10 percent budget increase on, marketers replied innovation/product development, creative and analytics. Their interest in these areas suggests a need for keeping pace with new technology and data trends.

This is reflected in their slightly less positive outlook (60%) on marketing’s influence and power in their organizations to increase over the next few years. Two years ago 64% were sure marketing’s influence would increase. The biggest threat reported by marketers is the lack of understanding by their companies as to what marketing accomplishes. Technology and ability to show ROI could validate their impact, but marketers are noting that they are slow to make these adoptions.

Furthermore, marketers feel that digital marketing knowledge is not up to par at their organization. The lack of this skill by seasoned professionals is echoed by 34 percent of marketers saying they don’t think their company has the right operating model, including staff, team structure, and tools in place and another 59 percent saying they are unsure if they do as well.

How is your company comparing so far? Are you experiencing some of the same struggles in your role? Well a very positive tactic the index captured is marketers’ belief that their organizations are very customer centric. Approximately 80 percent scored their companies higher than 50% for being customer centric with the average score coming in at 74%. These companies are prioritizing customers’ needs and making decisions around customers’ best interests. As companies like Amazon and Netflix continue to be successful with this model, more and more companies will evolve customer trends into their organizations’ behaviors and cultures to produce compelling results.

Marketing has evolved so much over the past 10 years, getting everyone in your company on the same page as to its extraordinary benefits is difficult. It may also mean that the traditional model of the most senior person having all the marketing knowledge is not necessarily the case anymore as the digital age has really changed marketing and marketing channels. Understanding how your toolbox needs to expand to include digital possibilities is important for continued growth. Consider webinars to learn new techniques and platforms or consider outside resources to make sure your marketing efforts produce the success your organizations needs.