Silo decisions: 7 out of 10 marketing managers decide alone

70 percent of marketing managers in the EMEA region decide on their company's marketing services and strategies alone. This is shown by the study "The Future of Marketing in EMEA," which Nielsen conducted on behalf of HubSpot and LinkedIn. In the DACH region, the proportion of sole decision-makers is as high as 73 percent.

(Graphics: Hubspot/LinkedIn)

The trend toward silo decision-making has been exacerbated recently by major shifts in the labor market, as job changes and layoffs lead to longer sales cycles and lower win rates, according to the study. "The study results show that marketing decision makers are under increasing pressure to perform. Lack of resources and time make it difficult to develop a full-funnel marketing strategy - but that's exactly what brands need to do to stay top of mind," explains Henrik Ihlo, Director Enterprise Solutions Group DACH at LinkedIn.

Software selection is not a team decision

The proportion of sole decision-making responsibility when purchasing software for customer communications and customer data management is also relatively high: 57 percent of respondents from the EMEA region make decisions primarily on their own. Just one fifth involve other departments such as sales, advertising or finance in the decision-making process.

Price is the deciding factor when buying software

For almost six out of ten marketing managers in EMEA (59 percent), the price of software is the most important factor in their purchase. In Germany, the figure is 48 percent. There, the data protection factor (41 percent) plays a significantly more important role than in the EMEA region surveyed (34 percent). The same applies to customer testimonials as a decision criterion: in Germany, they are relevant for 35 percent of marketing decision-makers when purchasing software.

Understanding customers better: Only four out of ten respondents use analytics tools 

Marketers in the EMEA region face major challenges: They need to retain existing customers (39 percent) and create engaging and relevant content for potential customers (37 percent).

To meet these challenges, it is important to analyze the customer base. However, the study shows that only four out of ten respondents (38 percent) use analytics tools and dashboards for this purpose. This is especially true for larger companies with 100 or more employees. Marketing automation software is used by a third (31 percent). Another 29 percent say they use CRM software to better understand customer behavior. Striking: In markets such as Ireland (34 percent), the UK (33 percent) and France (30 percent), the proportion of marketers using CRM software for customer analysis is higher than in the DACH region (25 percent).

Josephine Wick Frona, Head of Marketing DACH at HubSpot, says on the occasion of these figures: "Marketers should be aware of the importance of valid data. Every aspect of a company's technical marketing infrastructure depends on accurate customer data. It's time to prioritize data and data analytics. On top of that, there's the big challenge of harnessing artificial intelligence to gain further insights into customer behavior and needs."

In EMEA, 27 percent of respondents are already using AI-powered tools to gain insights about their target audience or clientele. However, respondents see implementing an AI model by purchasing tools as challenging. This assessment is significantly lower in DACH (15 percent) than in Ireland (25 percent) and the UK (21 percent).

Extent of use of data sources varies widely

To make marketing decisions, managers access different data sources. Sales data from the sales department (47 percent), data from the company website (38 percent) and internally collected data from surveys and market research (36 percent) are the three most frequently used data sources in the EMEA region. The DACH region often brings up the rear when it comes to the use of data sources. For example, only 22 percent of marketers use their company's social media accounts as data sources to make informed decisions. In the UK, Ireland and France, on the other hand, the figure is more than 40 percent in each case.

To make marketing decisions, 36 percent of marketers in the EMEA region use their own data (DACH: 34 percent). 54 percent (DACH: 59 percent) rely on a mix of their own and third-party data.

The study "The Future of Marketing in EMEA." was conducted in March 2023 by Nielsen on behalf of HubSpot and LinkedIn. For this, 2,016 decision-makers in marketing, CEOs and other decision-makers from B2C (44 %), B2B (27 %) and B2B2C companies (30 %) were surveyed. In the DACH region, 640 people were surveyed, 500 from Germany, 80 from Austria and 60 from Switzerland.

The study included the following topics: 

  • Marketing channels used
  • Challenges, priorities and growth areas
  • Involvement of various stakeholders in the budgeting process
  • Software usage
  • Data sources for marketing decisions
  • Factors for the purchase of software/tools

Interested parties can download the study download here.

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