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Report reveals 'keys to success' for Kiwi companies

A customer-centric approach, long-term brand building, and effective use of data and tech have been revealed as the keys to success in a new report from Qrious. 

The 2019 Mood of Marketing, which surveryed more than 100 senior New Zealand marketers, says these are the four key marketing characteristics of high growth Kiwi companies.

The report outlines the challenges, strategies and trends that are driving New Zealand marketers today.

Chief among them, Qrious CEO Nathalie Morris notes, is a strong focus on customer-centricity.

“Commitment to the customer came through very strongly this year," she says.

"In successful organisations, the desire to improve the customer experience through intelligent, data-led insights is driving new business strategies, but only 25% of respondents believe their organisation is doing enough," Morris explains.

“Businesses that are doing well are really playing the long game around customer loyalty and the brand equity that inevitably builds," she says. 

"They understand the true value of retention and deep, emotion-based customer connections. We’re seeing that investment in brand is building, now accounting for 48% of the marketing budget, but this is still below recommended levels of 60%.

The report reveals that brand equity and customer experience is increasingly underpinned by data. However, while 70% of marketers feel data is crucial to helping improve the customer experience, 80% don’t know how to unlock its value.

“As a country, we generally lag behind our global peers in adopting cutting edge technology," says Morris.

"However, this report shows that successful companies with a maturing view on data are fully embracing emerging technology and intelligent data strategies to support customer-centricity. 

"In fact, these companies are proactively building their capability to exploit it," she addds.

Morris says technology is empowering marketers but also redefining skillsets. 

"Marketing leaders are looking to develop skills in their teams across marketing automation, customer experience, digital optimisation, and areas such as data, analytics and modelling," she says.

“Marketing team structures are also being redefined with a growing number of organisations adopting agile designs and processes," explains Morris. 

"And while agile is helping to drive a relentless focus on great customer experience, it’s also leading marketers out of their traditional siloes, encouraging greater collaboration and cross functional learning," she says.

Morris says these strategies are proving the difference between success and decline in today’s challenging market. 

"Marketing teams in growth businesses are helping to reframe the customer relationship, as well as data and organisational strategies," she says. 

Tony Mitchell, CEO of the New Zealand Marketing Association, says that the marketing profession is experiencing an unprecedented pace of change.

“Empowered by technology, customers are taking ownership of their brand experience – and that same technology is producing deep customer insights with new opportunities for organisations to engage," he explains.

“We believe the role of marketing is to grow business success. This report shows that marketers are moving further into their organisations, empowered by methodologies such as agile and adopting a cross-functional view of businesses," says Mitchell. 

"With their unique understanding of data, customer and brand, marketers understand better than most what makes today’s organisation succeed," he says. 

“This report shows that marketers are stepping up to own the customer experience. Even if budget and resource is a challenge, marketers realise that new, innovative approaches are key to creating the personalised experiences customers demand."