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Observatory International Curated Newsletter – March 2022

MediaSense and ISBA released the latest instalment of their global CMO survey highlighting the key challenges and priorities being faced by marketing leaders currently.  Only 11% claimed to have completed their digital transformation journeys and over 75% were looking at changing both their external agency model as well as their own internal operating model.  Furthermore, over half of respondents (56%) believed that a talent shortage was hindering progress.

Key priorities mentioned included a growth in in-house capabilities (55%) and a focus on sustainability and the environmental impact of their business’ advertising (46%).

Sustainability is no longer something that marketers can take lightly or fail to promote with transparency.  The UK’s Advertising Standard Agency (ASA) has demonstrated its willingness to crack down on any misleading campaigns – or ‘greenwashing’ – by brands who seek to exaggerate their environmental friendliness.  Ryanair, Hyundai, Innocent Drinks and Oatly are all brands who have been deemed to make unsubstantiated environmental claims.

At the same time, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the USA is proposing new rules that would make it compulsory for companies to declare their carbon emissions.  Such rules would force actions to match words, and it likely wouldn’t be long until regulatory bodies in other markets follow suit.

Conversation about the metaverse shows no sign of easing up, and one big dilemma for marketers is ‘if and when should my business jump into the metaverse?’ While the metaverse is technically still a concept rather than reality, brands are beginning to embrace its opportunities through the development of NFTs, the use of cryptocurrency and the building of virtual brand experiences in fledgling metaverse-esque virtual worlds such as Decentraland and The Sandbox.

Early investment could lead to nothing, as the full nature of the metaverse is still to be shaped and defined.  But failure to act could also mean that it subsequently becomes too late or too costly for your business to fully benefit from the wealth of new opportunities likely to be on offer.

Relationships between clients and their agencies continue to be finely balanced as both sides seek to navigate the impact of external influences such as the Covid pandemic, increased digitisation, a talent drain and inflation.

Writing for The Drum, our Founder and Managing Partner, Stuart Pocock, outlines the steps to navigate this perfect storm.  Better working processes, a tailored operating model and an appropriate financial remuneration model should be key priorities for marketing departments looking to achieve success and get ahead of the competition.

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