The pandemic has made seismic shifts in our lives over the last 18-months. In turn, marketers have been challenged with a new environment of consumers with shifting values and changing expectations. Amid all these disruptions, Accenture’s survey of over 1000 marketing executives found that there is a small group of teams that are not just surviving, but thriving.

Akella Surya Kiran Experience and Digital Transformation Strategist at Accenture, and David Bernard, VP, Digital & Technology at General Mills shared their takes on how marketers can declutter their processes and thrive in the post COVID era in a recent CMO Club virtual roundtable.

From surviving to thriving

  • Accenture’s research breaks teams down into three groups: thrivers, strivers, and survivors
  • Most teams (66%) fell into the strivers camp – teams that are making it but not fully adapting or working efficiently in the new environment. 17% are adapting and thriving in the new environment, and the rest (17% – survivors) are just barely hanging on.
  • Companies that are thriving are not resisting change. Instead of trying to do things the same way they always have, thrivers are actively seeking to understand how their customers are changing so they can adapt accordingly.

Decluttering and rewiring your marketing

  • Thrivers are the most likely to view the pandemic as not just a temporary shift in the marketing environment, but one that is likely to have lasting effects.
  • Most marketing programs have been assembled over years in a piecemeal way. This means systems are often not integrated, and data isn’t shared efficiently across the organization.
  • Thrivers are decluttering their marketing programs by carefully analyzing the data to allow them to focus on what’s working, fix what’s broken, and cut what’s not working anymore.

Investing in innovation

  • If you don’t try new things or invest in innovation, your organization’s ability to grow will be limited. Consider assigning more resources towards experimentation that’s outside of the box for your company. 
  • A 70/20/10 budget distribution, where 70% goes to traditional efforts, 20% to new or adjacent projects, and 10% is directed to experimental and innovative ideas can be a good place to start.
  • It’s important to work cross-functionally when transitioning to a more digital-first business. Moving more business to digital can affect the whole organizational ecosystem, from supply chains to sales and finance.