Can you make it bigger? We’re not talking about the size of the logo. We’re talking about revenue.

According to The CMO Survey®, driving growth is the number one challenge for marketing leaders today. It’s streaks ahead of ‘Delivering a powerful brand that breaks through the clutter’, which sits in second place. It’s perhaps not surprising since growth is a goal and building a powerful brand is an action. We’ve reviewed the findings from the survey and chopped it up scissor style.

Most marketers use social media to accomplish key strategic objectives. Brand building and awareness lead the charge with 88.2% of those surveyed saying they use it for this purpose. Introducing new products / services, acquiring new customers, brand promotions and customer retention are the next four favourites.

One of the strengths of social media is that the different types of activity are not mutually exclusive and don’t need to be applied in a linear way. It’s the marketing equivalent of interdimensional travel. By applying a mix of content and targeting (promotional spend), you can get from awareness, to consideration, to purchase in record time.

Marketers (63.8%) say demonstrating impact on financial outcomes is the number one C-suite communication challenge. It can be difficult to isolate the impact of individual marketing components. You could argue that the brand is the sum of every aspect of the organisation, but showing specific results is more powerful.

Again, it’s hard to bypass the power of digital marketing to generate growth. In a recent social media campaign we were able to generate a 40% increase in sales (comparing 3 week promotional periods, one with social media and one without). The campaign outperformed Point of Sale (POS). Although, to be fair, the POS was fairly generic and a good example of retail camouflage rather than something to attract shoppers.

We haven’t always been able to achieve amazing sales results on the first try. But the other great thing about digital marketing is that, when you can’t show that you hit the target, you can show what you learned, and what to change so you hit it next time.

Only 36% of marketers report that they have the quantitative tools for demonstrating the impact of marketing spend on company performance. Linked with this challenge is having the right talent on hand to make use of the data.

Outsourcing is still popular. In social media nearly a fourth of all activities are performed by agencies like ours. We constantly track and regularly report on the social media and the other digital activity we manage.

We’re also lucky enough to be working with MeasureMatch, who have over 3,000 data and systems experts available on-demand. For analytics of systems that we don’t know well, we can send people there.

Getting back to growth. We’re fans of ambitious goals, being bold enough to cut through, being agile, solid analytics and continually learning. Shake up what needs changing and get yourself bigger.