Almost three-quarters of marketers have seen growth in budgets and 82% in department headcount, says Mailjet.
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The study of 400 marketers in the UK and France found 72% of marketing departments have seen their budget rise in the last two years, but finances and poor collaboration are still cited as the biggest hold-ups to day-to-day productivity.
Most respondents reported growth in the size of their department, by more than six people in a quarter of cases, a sign that effective collaboration is increasingly important.
But 30% of UK marketers and a quarter of their French counterparts said a failure to work together was a top barrier to progress, along with financial constraints. Money invested in recent years has targeted campaigns rather than team productivity, it said.
Marketers said collaboration becomes a problem when working with more than 10 people. According to Mailjet, internal marketers have at least five external contacts and six in-house colleagues per campaign on average.
“Time lost waiting for someone to finish their part of the campaign, back-and-forth exchanges, miscommunication and waiting for approval seem to be some of the most significant challenges for the marketing department when collaborating on email marketing campaigns for example, signifying a need for better control”, said Michyl Culos, head of marketing communications at Mailjet.
As a result, 37% of marketers said they had submitted projects without senior approval. Just over half have experienced team members misunderstanding instructions and 43% made modifications where they shouldn't have.
The problem is magnified by the fact marketing departments are growing, and many will become even more reliant on external agencies to manage multi-channel campaigns, it said.
In response, more than 90% of businesses are investing in some tools to facilitate better teamwork and collaboration, but the size of investment reflects the fact many businesses are currently opting for lower cost or free options. Two thirds of small marketing departments can invest less than £1,600 per month.
But less than half of respondents were confident their department is investing in the right tools.