Three in five U.S. marketers (59%) wanted to quite their job at least once during the past year, and 4 in 5 (79%) found the pandemic to be the most challenging time in their careers. Those are just two of the findings in a recent study conducted by Sitecore, a supplier of digital experience management software. The study, commissioned by Sitecore and conducted by Advanis, surveyed 402 marketers from the U.S., 400 from the U.K., and 88 from the Republic of Ireland from March 5–10, 2021.
- 80% of U.S. marketers said their responsibilities had increased a great deal in the past year, specifically supporting customer acquisition (47%), new online or virtual services (46%), and social responsibility/sustainability (41%).
- They also faced internal challenges, including pressure from upper management to boost results (47%), swift changes in strategy (39%), and unrealistic deadlines (20%).
On the positive side, nearly 4 in 5 (77%) said they saw greater innovation and were able to build an advanced tech stack this year more quickly than in the past 3 years. And 4 in 5 (81%) said they felt more connected with their customers because of their digital transformation efforts over the past 12 months.
And on the consumer side…
An accompanying study of 1,000 consumers in the U.S., more than 2,000 in the U.K., and 1,000 from the Republic of Ireland was conducted from March 10–16.
The consumer study revealed a less patient, more fickle customer with brands fighting harder to maintain customer loyalty in a year of mostly online-only interaction. Consumer responses included the following:
- 70% said they navigate away from a site and choose an alternative if they can’t find what they need in just a few clicks.
- 65% reported having less patience with slow or poorly functioning websites since the pandemic.
- 4 in 10 (42%) said they have become less loyal to the brands they usually shop with since the start of the pandemic.
Additionally, the study reported, the sudden, unexpected arrival of a digital-only approach to customer engagement brought an accelerated pace of change for marketers, with the vast majority (81%) reported they had to “upskill” quickly to meet the changing demands of their jobs in areas including digital experience platforms (54%), personalization and customer journey (39%), and automation of customer service/AI (36%).
“The digital customer behaviors we were expecting by 2030 arrived in 2020, not by the customer’s own choice, but driven by a world that needed to switch to digital-only engagement literally overnight to survive and thrive during the pandemic,” said Paige O’Neill, Sitecore’s CMO in a press release.
“Consequently, rising expectations of exceptional customer experience and speed of reaction to a new consumer climate is the new battleground across industries. Our survey shows the extreme pressure that marketers underwent in the previous 12 months, indicating that no one could have anticipated the extreme speed and agility required to meet the accelerating consumer demands. Going forward, marketers must accept that this is the new norm, and we aren’t going back to where we were before.”