In terms of their markets and their business models, the vast majority of companies surveyed are under significant pressure from the shift to digital.

This comes from our brand new report Leading a Digital Marketing Evolution, produced in association with Epsilon, in which we exclusively surveyed companies with over $1.5bn in annual revenues, roughly in alignment with the top 1,000 global organisations.

The report looks at how Global 1,000 enterprises are remaking themselves to deal with the modern, always-on and mobile shopper. It explores the challenges that large companies face in being responsive, efficient and innovative. It asks how and why some businesses excel and others lag behind. 

Using industry leaders for comparison, this report offers dozens of measures that marketers can use for education, benchmarking and inspiration.

The landscape for brands has been fundamentally altered. The rise of the mobile-first, always-online consumer has meant companies have had to adapt or in many cases completely relearn what they previously knew about marketing.

The digital age has brought new companies to the fore, thriving in an environment they helped to nurture and further revolutionise, but even these would companies wouldn’t be so blasé to say that they are perfectly comfortable with continued shifts towards an always-on lifestyle. 4% say that ‘little has changed’ in their sector over the last several years.

The rest of the 1,000 companies surveyed all agreed that digital has affected their business in some way.  

On a positive note an impressive 19% are driving that change and more than 40% are working to adapt to it despite feeling challenged. But for 36% of the consumer enterprises we studied, market shifts have left them feeling ‘under pressure and vulnerable.’ 

It’s a worrying statistic that reveals the importance of having the right support and structure in place before an effective shift to digital can truly take place. Often it’s necessary for organisations to rebuild themselves from the inside out, a structural challenge that may be expensive and made all the more difficult if your teams are ardently siloed from one another.

But things are changing: 55% of mainstream companies say that they’ve already created some fluidity in roles and lowered silo walls to a significant extent.

Strategy is the key, especially when an organisation is under pressure and is restructuring as a response to fast moving trends. The ultimate test of a strategy is its usefulness throughout the organisation though and unfortunately here is where some weakness is shown: 75% say their plans are ‘easy to apply to everyday questions’ but drops sharply when confronted by more specific scenarios.

Download the full study Leading a Digital Marketing Evolution in order to read further guidance on:

  • How leaders are built to encourage innovation and balance it with steady adaptation and improvement through experimentation.
  • Where the Global 1,000 rank mobile as a strategic priority.
  • Differences in how leaders are dealing with social and content marketing.
  • The keys to keeping and cultivating talent that set leading companies apart.
  • How leading companies define the state of the art through their capabilities related to data and technology.
  • Why leaders are excited and empowered by their marketing technologies and the rest of the industry is trying to catch up.
  • Five important lessons from Leaders in the Global 1,000.