However, there will still be opportunities to support growth if the focus is on new markets and innovation.
These observations stem from a survey conducted by Frost & Sullivan's Growth Team Membership™ division to better understand the business environment and key issues facing European marketing executives.
Factors in current business environment impacting Marketing
Primary Factors: An overwhelming majority of respondents (44%) selected global economic downturn as their primary concern. This is not surprising considering the turbulent economic climate. Product/service innovation, decreasing customer demand, and emerging global markets came in second with a three-way tie of 8%.
Secondary Factors: Product/service innovation (19%) was rated as the top secondary factor affecting marketing strategies. Companies will have to develop innovative products and original marketing strategies in order to surmount current economic slump. Intensifying competition and decreasing customer demand were also of great concern, with ratings of 14% and 11%, respectively.
Impact of the Top Factors: Of the top five business environment factors selected by the respondents, three (global economic downturn, decreasing customer demand, and intensifying competition) were judged to have a predominantly negative impact on marketing strategies. In contrast, the remaining two (product/service innovation and emerging global markets) were considered to have a primarily positive effect.
Key Marketing Issues
The most important issues involved in the development of 2009 marketing strategies were justifying the ROI on marketing budgets and evaluating and prioritising innovation investments. Both of these observations were ranked by 29% of the respondents.
Improving sales and marketing integration came in a close second with 26%, which was followed by identifying new adjacent market opportunities, and enhancing the pace of new product and service innovations, which both received a 24% rating.
Marketing Function Effectiveness
A majority of executives (47%) regard their marketing function's effectiveness as "Fair," while 45% rate the function's effectiveness as "Good." The remaining 8% are split evenly at the two ends of the spectrum; 4% believe that their marketing function's effectiveness is exceptional, while the other 4% regard it as poor.
"The data indicates that, while economic times are tough, there continues to be opportunities for marketing to support growth through new market identification and improving innovation", says the Director of the Growth Team Membership™, Keith O'Brien.
The survey respondents were director level or above marketing executives from companies with revenues of €70 million or more.
The majority of respondents, 83%, are employed by a B2B company, 15% by a B2B and B2C hybrid, and the remaining 2% by a B2C company. Fifty-three percent of these executives work for a private company, whereas 43% work in the public sector. Fifty-five percent of companies surveyed bring in revenues of €700 million or more.
The list of participating companies spans across numerous industries; the largest percentage is attributed to the healthcare and life science industry (29%), closely followed by the automotive and transportation industry (27%) and the energy and power systems industry (23%). Executives from the electronics and security, information and communication technologies and aerospace and defence industries also participated.
Frost & Sullivan's Growth Team Membership™ is an annual subscription programme that supports individual members of a CEO's executive team in achieving the company's top-line growth objectives. Team membership includes career-focused events, implementation-orientated best practices research and targeted services. If you would like more information on Growth Team Membership™ or have any questions regarding the survey, please contact Chiara Carella, Corporate Communications, at chiara.carella[.]frost.com.
GIL 2009: Europe
Frost & Sullivan has expanded its flagship Global Congress on Corporate Growth - GIL Global - into several major cities around the world including London. For the first time ever in Europe, Frost & Sullivan will be hosting the Growth, Innovation and Leadership Congress 'GIL 2009: Europe' on 19-20 May, at the Sofitel St James in London. GIL Global is the industry's only event designed to support senior executives in their efforts to achieve sustainable, top-line growth. To register, obtain a programme agenda, explore sponsorship opportunities, or attend as a member of the media for 'GIL 2009: Europe', please contact Chiara Carella, Head of Corporate Communications for Frost & Sullivan in Europe, at chiara.carella[.]frost.com. One-on-One interviews with Frost & Sullivan senior growth consultants are also being scheduled.
About Frost & Sullivan
Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, enables clients to accelerate growth and achieve best in class positions in growth, innovation and leadership. The company's Growth Partnership Service provides the CEO and the CEO's Growth Team with disciplined research and best practice models to drive the generation, evaluation and implementation of powerful growth strategies. Frost & Sullivan leverages over 45 years of experience in partnering with Global 1000 companies, emerging businesses and the investment community from 31 offices on six continents.