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Rethinking marketing: Study finds COVID increased workload, reduced department resources

by | May 4, 2022 | Marketing, Public Relations

New survey research from SJT Marketing and YourMarketer finds that marketing departments in the U.S., across industries, experienced major changes during the pandemic, drastically modifying their strategies under pressure from reduced headcount and budgets.

The firms’ new study, Rethinking Marketing: 2022 a Survey of Today’s Marketing Department, reveals that 34 percent of respondents were responsible for roles outside the marketing department, in addition to their marketing job, which caused inefficiency in resource use around finding and building a loyal client base. Fifty-nine percent of marketers are handling over 5 core job responsibilities, making it difficult to maintain high level performance and meet the expectations of key stakeholders.

Rethinking marketing: Study finds COVID increased workload, reduced department resources

“We wanted to put into numbers what we were hearing from our marketing colleagues regarding changes in their departments,” said Jennifer Palmer Farrington, CEO of YourMarketer, in a news release. “We were concerned to find that 81 percent of marketers felt both that their workload had increased due to the pandemic, and that 43 percent saw their budgets cut.”
Highlights from the survey:

Marketing has input into strategy and budget but requires leadership approval to execute

Despite 52 percent of respondents stating that their CMP/VP was on the organization leadership team, they require approval on individual budget items. Only 20 percent of CMPs/VPs have full approval of the marketing budget and activities.

Rethinking marketing: Study finds COVID increased workload, reduced department resources

Marketers do not have enough resources to excel in their jobs

They are experts at making more from less. However, the past two years have taken a toll on the marketing department, with 52 percent of respondents stating that not having enough resources is their top stressor. Inflation and the increase in ad costs are additional difficulties.

Rethinking marketing: Study finds COVID increased workload, reduced department resources

Marketing department requests are up, and the expectations are unrealistic

Fifty percent of marketing departments saw an increase in the number of requests and felt that expectations were unrealistic.

Rethinking marketing: Study finds COVID increased workload, reduced department resources

Marketers are nearly evenly split, 52/48 as to whether they need to say yes to every project that lands on their desk

Knowing when to say “no” to a project is important to keeping marketing strategy on track. If a project does not fit into the approved strategy, team members need to be able to say “no” and pass, so they can keep building the business on time.

Rethinking marketing: Study finds COVID increased workload, reduced department resources

Marketers, for the most part, were not asked to give up a portion of their salary, but those who did haven’t seen it return

Only 33 percent of the marketers surveyed had to give up a portion of their salary and/or benefits during the pandemic. Out of those, only 40 percent had the salary and/or benefits returned to them.

“We’ve all gone through challenging times; we now need to analyze our departments and make sure we are structuring and supporting them for success—for the marketers and for the company,” added Sara Janjigian Trifiro, president of SJT Marketing, in the release.

Rethinking marketing: Study finds COVID increased workload, reduced department resources

Access the full survey here.

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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