25 January 2023

Boldspace launches report outlining the most urgent needs for marketing and communications leaders

Nick Ford-Young

Strategy, integration and data are the three clear challenges facing senior marketing and communications decision-makers, according to the inaugural Boldspace Challenge Report launched today.

The research – Integration & The Strategy Dilemma – is based on insight from 300 industry leaders, and outlines the key challenges preventing brands from creating the most effective, impactful work.

The overwhelming picture is one of challenges around strategy, integration and the role of data across the entire marketing mix. 29% of respondents said ‘strategy’ was the hardest area to track, while 27% said it was their ‘market’. Strategy was also identified as the area in need of most urgent attention (29%), with more than a third (34%) also saying it was the area with the ability to have the biggest impact on growth.

Three-quarters of marketing leaders and a staggeringly high 95% of their communications counterparts thought creative should be tracked on average every 2-3 days. This is far more often than many may expect and demonstrates the clear emphasis on the importance of strong creative, if at the same time a lack of expertise to track its effectiveness.

Boldspace Co-founder Nick Ford-Young said: “While integration as a concept has been around for decades, it still falls short of true integration across the necessary range of thinking across the marcomms mix. As an industry in the broadest possible sense – across advertising, marketing and PR – we are still not on the same page. We believe the time to solve this is now, driven by technology that enables true, effective integration.”

The report was launched at an event in Central London yesterday evening with a discussion between Rhiannon Scarlett, Chief Marketing Officer at Fridays; Eden Black, Head of PR & Campaigns at Nationwide Building Society; and Jason Gray, Marketing Director at Charles Tyrwhitt.

The expert panel speaking at the launch event this week.

Rhiannon Scarlett, Chief Marketing Officer at Fridays, said: “This is an exciting time for brands with the vision to unite these areas effectively, using the right, most relevant data to drive strategy and the best, most effective work. There is much to be done across our industry to ensure data literacy catches up with what we are undoubtedly leaders in – creative – and I am incredibly optimistic that we can rise to the challenges outlined in this report.”

Victoria Gibbs, Group Head of Marketing at Virgin Limited Edition, said: “It’s critical that marketing and PR are aligned and working towards the same goal, and if they become treated as completely standalone entities it not only limits communication but also reduces a team’s efficiency. Having an integrated approach ensures that everyone is following the same strategy and there is alignment across all activities.”

The research from Boldspace found that four-in-five marketers and nine-in-ten communications leaders wanted access to data across all areas of marketing and communications, but nearly two-thirds (59% of marketers and 62% of comms professionals respectively) said accessing this data remained incredibly difficult.

Ford-Young added: “The roles, responsibilities and results of marketing, advertising and PR leaders are merging. The need for effective integration, efficient tracking, visibility of the right data points, and benchmarking against the right competition has the ability to achieve results like never before. We believe the time for this is now, and that this is an exciting, and defining, period for our industry.”

Boldspace believes that brand building, communications and analytics must sit under one roof to solve the issues both ourselves and our clients have traditionally suffered from. Namely, the growing need to integrate siloed services, while harnessing the power of data to provide the whole picture, in real time.

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