2022 Marketing Trends: UK vs. US

Posted September 14, 2022

2022 Marketing Trends: UK vs. US

Posted September 14, 2022

Over the summer, we worked with Ascend2 to survey more than 300 marketing professionals across the United States and the United Kingdom. We wanted to better understand the opportunities and challenges they face.  

For the most part, the landscape was very similar on both sides of the Atlantic. 

For the most part.  

A deeper dive into the data, however, revealed some interesting points of divergence (more than a 10% between geographies) that reveal important differences between British and American marketers and their views on their solutions, priorities, and challenges. 

Where is the revenue growth coming from? 

Net new logos or cross-sell / upsell?  

For B2B marketers that becomes an important question when focusing their efforts. And the focus was markedly different between the US and UK. Nearly 30% in the UK said they expected to drive revenue through net new logos. For US marketers, that number was less than 20%. Conversely, US marketers were 10% more likely to expect revenue to come from cross-sell and upsell. 

This is an important distinction to make because marketing to prospects (new logos) is fundamentally different from marketing to existing customers (cross-sell / upsell).  

When looking to add new logos, it is essential to disrupt the status quo: to let the market know there is a better way to solve their problem – your solution. When marketing for cross-sell / upsell, it is important to do the opposite: maintain the status quo.  

Acquisition is about selling change. Retention and growing engagement are about preventing changes in customer behavior.  

With this in mind, you would expect to see differences in how marketing departments are aligned and how budgets are allocated between US and UK companies. So that’s where we’ll go next. 

How is the investment in marketing technology changing? 

Obvious statement: technology solutions are crucial to data-informed marketing – and only becoming more vital. As such, technology investments are growing.  

Across all survey respondents, 84% reported an expected increase in marketing technology spend in the coming year (either moderate or significant increases).  

When broken down, however, we see nearly 92% of UK marketers looking for an upswing. In the US, that number is “only” 80%. Broken down even further, 35% in the UK expect a significant increase, while only 24% in the US expect large budget growth.  

It’s not surprising, then, that, only 10% of UK respondents said they didn’t have the budget to address their priority areas. or most, 41%, that was delivery of campaigns and programs. In the US, nearly 20% of marketers didn’t have the budget they needed,and they cited campaign design as their biggest challenge.  

However, delivery tends to cost more than design. When looking at the costs to address delivery vs. design, Gartner found that campaign design accounts for 10% of total marketing budgets, while delivery is roughly 60% of spend.  

Since the marketers in the UK are more concerned with improving the delivery of campaigns, which costs more, a larger increase in budget makes sense.  

Just how complex is your martech stack? 

Another possible answer to the difference in expected budget increases can be found in another survey question: How would you describe the overall complexity of your marketing technology stack as it currently exists? 

Nearly three-quarters of UK respondents answered either, “More complex than a black hole,” or “Too complex, we need fewer solutions to deliver on marketing objectives.” For US marketers, that number drops to just over half.  

Even more telling is that 30% in the UK responded with “black hole,” while only 14% of US survey participants said likewise. 

It makes sense that, to address the complexity that currently exists in their martech stack, UK marketers are expecting a higher increase in budget than their American counterparties dealing with less complex systems.  

What’s attainable in the year to come? 

What gets measured gets done.  

As marketers, we all have goals and KPIs we are tasked with meeting. The question becomes how confident you are in meeting them. That’s where the answers differ.  

In the UK, 39% of marketers anticipate their ability to meet goals/KPIs to improve significantly in the coming year. In the US that number is only 23%. It could be that those anticipated increases in budgets have boosted UK marketers’ confidence to create more positive outcomes. Or maybe they feel better about growing new logos than their American counterparts do about cross-selling and upselling. 

No matter where marketers work or where their target audience resides, there are growing challenges and opportunities. And when looked at in totality, those challenges and opportunities are similar. But the devil is in the details: priorities, technology needs and goals vary, leading to slight nuances in approaches to getting the marketing job done.     

To explore more of the findings of our survey, check out The 2022 Outlook on Data and Technology: A Year of Herding Cats and Black Holes.