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Undervalued: The importance of marketing strategy is being missed by businesses, marketers say

Marketing strategy is considered by marketers to be the most underrated skill by businesses, according to Marketing Week’s exclusive 2024 Career & Salary Survey.

More than half (53.7%) of the 3,000 marketers surveyed say marketing strategy is the skill most undervalued by businesses, a clear sign of the frustration marketers feel about the lack of understanding and appreciation of the core fundamentals of the role within the wider company.

It is closely followed by brand management (46.1%) and then data analysis (32.7%), which also happens to be the skill many marketers feel is missing from their departments.

It is worth noting this is the same top three skills marketers identified as being underrated by businesses in 2023, showing little has changed over the past 12 months in how marketers see the role valued.

Just under a quarter (23.9%) consider commercial acumen to be undervalued with the top five rounded out by the 15.9% of marketers who believe advertising and marketing technology is the most undervalued skill.

This pattern holds true irrespective of whether marketers work in B2B, B2C or a mix of B2B and B2C. In B2B businesses, marketing strategy is considered slightly more underappreciated at 57.1% whereas in B2C it stands at 53.8%, with a mix of B2B and B2C the lowest at 50.3%.

‘On the backburner’: Marketing leaders on tackling the upskilling imperativeBrand management, too, comes second across all types of business. Just under half (47.2%) of marketers in B2B firms say it is undervalued, with it being slightly less of a concern in B2C (45.5%) and a mix of the two (45.4%).

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Data analysis is the third most misunderstood skill by companies regardless of focus. Marketers who do a mix of B2B and B2C consider it to be slightly more undervalued (35.1%) than those in B2C (32.9%) and B2B (30%).

Marketing strategy, brand management and data analysis are the top three most undervalued skills when looking at the data across both large businesses and SMEs (companies with less than 250 employees).

Over the coming weeks, Marketing Week will be publishing a series of exclusive news and features based on the findings of the 2024 Career & Salary Survey, including the impact of burnout and the evolution of working patterns. Click here to view everything we’ve published so far.

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