Pod research shows that a third of businesses do not have a documented marketing strategy in place

9th January 2018

The Marketing Pod, recently carried out research among UK businesses to analyse approaches to marketing. It revealed that a third of businesses do not have a documented marketing strategy in place, and also highlighted that the majority of companies need to improve their marketing activities to ultimately increase their chance of business success.

The Marketing Pod’s Business Marketing Survey was designed to identify strengths and weaknesses, trends and gaps in current approaches to marketing. In particular, it demonstrated that strategies and plans, customer insight, integration and measurement can all be improved.

Worryingly, while marketing strategies and plans might be in place, they are not always up to date. While more than two thirds of businesses have a documented marketing strategy in place that is aligned to business objectives, 42 per cent have not reviewed that strategy in the past 12 months, meaning that the plan may no longer be relevant.

With the rise in account based marketing and personalisation, customer insight is another area which stands out as a potential problem for many businesses. Truly effective marketing relies on a real understanding of the target audience, with regular primary research helping businesses to stay in touch with customer attitudes and opinions, resolve issues and identify ways to improve customer satisfaction levels. However, less than half of businesses surveyed have conducted primary customer research during the past 12 months, and almost half of all businesses report that they don’t know what their customers think of them.

Marketing integration is another area that requires improvement. The report highlighted that almost two thirds of businesses do not have a documented PR plan, and while 76 per cent of businesses have a social media plan, almost two thirds do not have a content plan. This can lead to inconsistent, disjointed customer messages across channels.

Lastly, while measurement is vital to ensure a good return on investment and the long-term success of any marketing strategy, almost two thirds of UK businesses do not have measurement tools in place for all marketing activity, and only half regularly review their success.

Jodie Williams, co-founder and director of The Marketing Pod, said: “Across every sector, businesses must compete more fiercely for new customers and work harder to retain their existing ones. Our research has revealed that businesses could be putting themselves at a commercial disadvantage and therefore missing out on opportunities – but this doesn’t need to be the case. Updating and enhancing marketing strategies and plans, and investing in customer insight and measurement can make all the difference. And with the right advice and guidance, businesses can easily increase their chances of success.”

The average marketing score for the businesses that took part in The Marketing Pod’s Business Marketing Survey was 126 out of a possible 200 (63 per cent). A top score of 200 would signal that a business has insight into its customer base, a fully documented marketing strategy, and a properly devised marketing and PR plan capable of delivering measurable results and excellent return on investment. The average score of 126 therefore highlights there is much more businesses can do to maximise success.

Businesses can assess their own marketing activity against the benchmark score via an online quiz. Participants will receive a free-of-charge tailored report from The Marketing Pod with personal recommendations and tips on how to improve their score. To read the full Business Marketing Survey, please click here.