Affinity logo
June 6, 2022

What’s wrong with Australian Marketing?

April 2022 saw the release of the second annual 2022 Marketing State of Play study conducted by Digital Advisory Consultancy, Arctik Fox, in partnership with corporate recruiting agency, Michael Page. The study surveyed more than 220 marketing and digital leaders across Australia, and examined which key challenges they were facing and the priorities they were focused on. 
This article looks at three of the key findings from the study, and AFFINITY’s take on the data. 

  1. 44% of marketing leaders claim their biggest challenge in digital transformation is their team’s lack of relevant skills. 40% believe their teams have a skills gap around data & analytics specifically. However, close to 40% of teams don’t have a dedicated training and development budget in place, and of those who do, 41% are spending just $1,000 or less per team member. 
    AFFINITY’s approach: We invest as much in our people as is needed to meet our strategic goals. This might mean training, or it might mean bringing in new talent. If training is the answer, it’s critical learnings are applied in their roles. As we touched on in another recent post, research suggests only 12% of employees apply skills learned in training courses in their actual jobs. 
    The study also provided a useful strategy: “to make a meaningful shift, brands need to throw traditional budgeting approaches out the window and work back from the opportunity in order to determine what is appropriate based on the organisation’s strategic direction and goals”.   
  2. More than a quarter (26%) of marketing leaders believe a lack of knowledge at the executive leadership level is 
    hindering digital transformation. As the article states: “for leaders, this often means they are trying to educate the 
    leadership group while attempting to drive the change, which can slow progress and momentum”. 
    AFFINITY’s approach: When you’re trying to reach a consensus with multiple executives, potentially across multiple markets and time zones, you can’t afford to waste time explaining everything. One quick but helpful tip you can implement today is to develop a glossary of terms for anyone working across a project. By educating individuals across departments and executive levels ahead of time you can ensure everyone is on the same page. We implemented a similar approach for a client undertaking a significant digital transformation project and saw immediate success. 
    As Eben Hewitt states in Technology Strategy Patterns (2019): “You can’t deliver it if you don’t know what it is. Rooting out ambiguous terms will go a long way later”.   
  3. 40% of marketing leaders claimed their biggest soft skill gap was an ability to manage up and across the organisation, while 34% claimed their biggest challenge around MarTech was their ability to collaborate with IT.  
    AFFINITY’s approach: Ensure your internal processes are collaborative and communicative. Consider adopting an agile approach – split the work into smaller, more consumable increments, and continually evaluate requirements, plans and results.  
    With another nod to the digital transformation project mentioned earlier, the reason everything worked smoothly was because everyone knew what each other’s requirements were, and what their barriers were. Everyone knew exactly what the architecture team had on their plate because the planning process was open and collaborative. We knew who we would need help from, and when, because we’d worked it out in the planning process. In other words, the need to “manage up and across the organisation” was greatly reduced by the process itself, and at no point was collaboration with IT an issue. 

    If you hadn’t already realised it yet, Employee Experience (EX) is a big part of what we’re about at AFFINITY. Without a solid EX practice, many of your broader initiatives are doomed to failure. We’re working with many of our clients across complex MarTech implementation projects and providing the structure and support that sets their teams up for success. We’d love to discuss how we could help you. Get in touch via 


Better input always leads to greater outcomes

Subscribe to OutThink, the AFFINITY ThoughtReport

Contact us

Get in touch and find out what we can do for you.
Business hours: 9–5.30pm, Monday–Friday
Call Luke on:
+61 2 8354 4400

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Our associations, partnerships and platforms

ADMA logo
Google Partner
Financial Review Best Places to Work logo
Tealium logoSnowflake Partner Network logo