A marketing leader today could struggle to recognise the marketers of the future with technologies like artificial intelligence and neuromarketing emerging as the key tech drivers over the next five to seven years according to a new study. 

A new Marketo report, Marketing 2025: The future of skills and technology in marketing across Australia and New Zealand, revealed that marketers believe AI and data analytics will be the key tech drivers.

And the survey respondents – CEOs, CMOs, and other marketing leaders also identified a strong focus on neuromarketing in the future. Indeed the predicted growth in this area almost rivaled the rise of AI.

Marketers also told the study’s authors they expect much less emphasis on decisions around email marketing or social media. Instead, machines will be making many of the decisions in these fields, rather than people.

Respondents also believe there will be less emphasis on transactional metrics, with greater weight given to the overall relationship with the customer. Indeed by 2025 customer lifetime value is expected to be the most important metric for marketing.

Carpe Diem

Another interesting result from the survey concerned the perception of marketing. The study found that CEOs often think highly of marketing than the marketers themselves.

According to the report, “When it comes to marketers, the fault is not in their stars but in themselves. It turns out that the way marketers think they are perceived is more negative than the reality.”

The study compared the views of CEOs and CMOs.

“CEOs provided much stronger responses to positive statements about marketing and much lower responses to negative statements about marketing. On each measure marketers rated positive statements about marketing more negatively than CEOs and negative statements about marketing more highly than CEOs.”

The authors write, “Take the example of marketing as ‘the colouring-in department.’ Only 8 per cent of CEOs hold this view, compared to 22 per cent of marketers. And twice as many marketers as CEOs felt they were perceived as mostly event managers although the numbers were low in both cases—13 per cent and 6 per cent. “

At the other end of the scale, CEOs overwhelmingly said marketing was considered a driver of revenue growth compared to only 73 per cent of marketers.

The survey also revealed that the larger the organisation, the more likely marketers were to believe they are poorly perceived.

Customer lifetime value

Marketers were also asked how they imagine their KPIs will evolve change between now and 2025. They predicted that customer lifetime value will be the most important priority for marketers in 2025.

When the same marketers were asked what the priorities are for the next 12 months, customer lifetime value came in third.

For 2025, following customer lifetime value is customer retention and marketing-sourced revenue and for the next 12 months, they sit first and sixth on the priority list.

Marketers said customer retention is the priority for the next 12 months, followed by lead generation and customer lifetime value.

Vanity metrics have fallen out of favour altogether. They are not a priority for the next 12 months and drop even further for 2025.

The report shows in the marketing department of tomorrow, marketers expect to have much more direct input into revenue generation, irrespective of company size.

Marketing-sourced revenue came in as the third top priority. Among large companies, the number of marketers who rated this a priority doubles from the 2018 result.

There was also a big change on the question of whether lead generation will still be a top priority in 2025. One in five says it is a priority KPI today but that number drops below 10 per cent in the world of seven years hence.

About this author

Athina Mallis is the editor of the Which-50 Digital Intelligence Unit of which Marketo is a corporate member. Our members provide their insights and expertise for the benefit of the Which-50 community. Membership fees apply.


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