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How Marketers Can Thrive In Spite Of The Great Resignation

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We need to understand the reasons behind the so-called ‘Great Resignation’, says Accenture Interactive’s president for Europe, Max Morielli. But we should also learn from those marketers who are thriving, not just surviving, in the post-pandemic world.

How Marketers Can Thrive In Spite Of The Great Resignation

Be honest – when it comes to your relationship with work, how are you feeling? 

If your answer is some form of ‘exhausted’, then you’re not alone. We’ve been following the ‘Great Resignation’ and trying to figure out – at least in our world (of marketing) – some of the reasons why this is happening, and what we can do to help change it. 

We spoke to marketing executives, almost half of whom feel ‘burnt out’. And it’s not just marketing departments feeling the strain. A study conducted by Microsoft found that 41% of global employees were considering walking away from their jobs in 2021.

It’s not hard to see the red thread connecting these statistics and the mass exodus from jobs that so many businesses are grappling with right now. The term ‘Great Resignation’ was first coined by professor Anthony Klotz of Texas A&M University in the US, where a record 4.3 million people quit their jobs in the month of August alone. But despite its state-side origins, this trend has crossed the Atlantic and is firmly established on European shores. In the UK, jobs site Reed.co.uk saw its largest number of job postings for over a decade this May. In Germany, over a third of all organisations say they are lacking ‘skilled workers’. 

Amid the unprecedented churn, however, there is a small group who are thriving.  

The benefits of this group’s mindset appear to have a direct impact on businesses' bottom lines. These marketers are 40% more likely to perform better in revenue growth and profitability. They’re also 80% more likely to perform ‘far better’ in customer satisfaction. 

So, what defines this group? Underpinning their success are five clear and actionable insights: 


Reacquaint yourself with your customers. The pandemic has changed us all in countless ways. The same goes for business customers. That group of thriving marketers knows that old beliefs about customer preferences are no longer accurate and are two and a half times more likely to consider today’s challenges as ‘fundamentally new’.

Find your collective difference. No matter a department’s individual responsibilities, differentiating a brand to customers is a task that unites an entire organisation. This is borne out by the fact that 91% of thriving marketers frequently collaborate across functions and move talent between different groups. That consistent and purposeful integration of diverse ideas is key to success in the post-pandemic landscape.

Move at the pace of change. Almost all (91%) of these thriving marketers believe that customers’ behaviours are changing more quickly than they ever have before. But the key here isn’t about working harder to go faster, but rather figuring out how to work smarter to match the speed of customers. 

Figure out what no one wants to do. It’s hardly controversial to say that marketing is more complicated today than it has ever been. The explosion of touchpoints, technologies, and tangled workflows has created clutter. Automating repetitive tasks will free up energy for improvement. Thriving marketers are 40% more likely to have invested in process automation and are reaping the benefits. 

Own what you stand for. It’s natural for a marketer to want to please everyone. But that’s also something of an Achilles’ heel, and can sometimes lead to becoming overwhelmed. The final key factor for those elite marketers, is focus – specifically on brand purpose. 


It’s important to learn lessons from those who have left their jobs over the course of this ‘Great Resignation’. But let’s not pass on this opportunity to learn from those who have made a success out of staying, too. By doing so we can make work more fulfilling for our employees and create a more positive environment for our customers as well. Let’s seize this new reality as a permission to redefine what we do, how we do it, and the role of marketing within a business. We’re doing it ourselves at Accenture.

It’s up to leaders to put these lessons into practice. If we collectively do so, we can turn the Great Resignation into a Great Reignition for our businesses and global growth. That’s an opportunity nobody should be passing up. 

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Accenture Interactive, Wed, 10 Nov 2021 18:30:10 GMT