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3 Insights to Help You Understand the Growth Marketing Mandate

Emily Hoffman

In the past, marketing was often seen solely as the steward of the brand – and ultimately a cost center. However, driving business growth has emerged as a new mandate for marketers.

Armed with data, all marketers – from analysts to channel managers to executives –  are expected to operationalize their growth objectives and prove the value of every marketing investment. But this transition to marketing-led growth has not been without its challenges.

Datorama partnered with Advertiser Perceptions to survey more than 150 U.S. marketers to understand the evolving growth mandate for marketers and identify the top challenges they face. Here are the top findings that will help you better understand the interplay of growth and data in marketing today. Read the full report, Marketing Intelligence Report: Data, Growth, and the New Marketing Imperative to learn more. 


1. Growth is no longer an abstract goal – it’s a defined directive

The report found the growth mandate is real and already proliferating throughout marketing organizations. In 2019, two out of three marketers shifted their priorities to focus on this marketing-led growth.

Extent to which marketers shift priorities to grow

Also, marketers are front and center in this directive to drive growth. The data shows 96% of marketers agree marketing functions have a major role to play in driving ROI and growth for their business.

Extent to which marketers view their function as critical to ROI/growth

2. Data and analytics pose the biggest challenges to achieving the growth mandate 

Marketers are struggling to meet their goals. On average, only 34% say they’re performing “very well” against a given marketing goal and 57% are doing a “fair” job and still have room to improve. And, while sales/revenue is the number one growth-defining metric for marketers, only 33% feel they are very successful in achieving it. 


Why does success lag for these marketers? What holds them back from optimal growth? The most common barriers to growth marketing are directly related to data: They don’t have a unified view of performance and real-time insights, and the data is mismanaged. Other barriers are also tangential to data, such as misalignment across teams on measurement and reporting and a lack of resources.

Ranking of growth marketing barriers chart

3. The data-driven revolution is already underway 

Regardless of how well they’re doing at achieving their goals, the research showed the top area marketers want to improve in 2020 is growth. And progress is already being made in transforming organizational culture to succeed in driving growth. This data-driven revolution comes from senior-level support (49%), as well as investments in marketing analytics technology (44%) and alignment on which KPIs matter most (42%).

Marketers claiming excellent progress in data-driven organization

An operationalized mandate for growth is not the outcome of the right people, processes, or technologies independently, but instead an alignment in all three areas. An understanding of key growth priorities and challenges, combined with leadership support, investment, and an aligned measurement strategy, will help marketers see big gains in growth marketing success in 2020 and beyond. 

Get a full deep-dive on all the trends transforming growth marketing by reading the full report

Marketing Intelligence Report

Marketing Intelligence Report

Explore the first edition the Marketing Intelligence Report for an inside look into how the new growth imperative is affecting marketers across every industry.

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