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IAB Netherlands Research: The C-level Is Looking For The Right Balance

Despite the awareness of what the biggest developments, opportunities and challenges are, IAB Netherlands’ C-level research report presented in November 2020, shows that professionals find it difficult to find the right balance on a strategic and organizational level. The ambition to follow all developments and seize opportunities, and to do so at a rapid pace, appears to create unprecedented complexity and in some cases considerable friction.

New research methodology

For the fourth edition of the annual CMO research, commissioned by IAB Netherlands, research agency DVJ Insights not only spoke with CMOs, but also asked more than 250 senior professionals on the agency, technology and publisher side about their vision on the future of the marketing and media ecosystem. The combination of quantitative and qualitative research provides an interesting depth of figures in this C-level research and shows where the greatest needs in the market lie and where interpretation, knowledge and inspiration are desirable.

Continuously searching for the right balance

What makes the research especially clear is that the majority of those surveyed are looking for a balance between short and long term, data and creation, innovation and evidence. This balancing act has never been easy, but because of the increased data and technology applications and the speed with which everything happens, the professionals experience more abrasion than ever in the major challenges they face. The will to innovate, to be data-driven, creative and diverse is omnipresent, but consistency and long-term focus are also important. Finding a balance between these, and that in times of corona, seems to be the biggest challenge, both within the profession and within organizations.

Developments and challenges

What is more striking is that 91% of the respondents indicate that they are not yet fully prepared for a world without cookies. 31% of organizations indicate that COVID-19 has made decision-making faster and more flexible. Furthermore, 49% of those questioned confirm that they have difficulty putting together a sufficiently diverse team. And 58% of C-level professionals feel that there is too little focus on long-term strategy within marketing.

Together we make the difference

Wendy Pouw, director IAB Netherlands: “We see that the market is looking for the right balance. This is a very complex process, in which the speed with which our profession digitizes plays an important role. And that brings with it the necessary challenges, but above all opportunities. Successful completion of the digitization process requires a great diversity of people and disciplines. It is a trajectory in which the power, knowledge and experience of various experts are combined and in which the golden combination of creation-data-tech media is central. This is not an easy task, especially now that COVID-19 is working massively from home, but picking this up in collaboration is the only way to actually make a difference”.


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