Stats Incredible – Stats I Think Marketers Should Be Aware Of

Like many of you I am quite sure I am sucker for stats, which is somewhat oxymoronish considering I always thought of myself as NOT a “numbers guy.” Hated math in school so maybe that just stuck with me?


As a journalist/marketer I can tell you I love numbers/stats; love to use them as a basis for a piece/article; express my take on a given set of stats, findings, what-have-you. I very much love to take the “other side” i.e. if 67% of people are doing this, why are the other 33% doing that?

Curation Nation

Knowing I am not alone in my love for stats, I am considering making this kind of piece an ongoing part of my regular content cadence. The “this kind of piece” I am referring to is the curation of stats from the world wide interwebs that I think may be of interest to those like me.

Maybe they are. Maybe they’re not. As Asia put it so eloquently all those years ago… only time will tell.

Ok, so here’s some stats I was drawn to, interested in, blah, blah, blah. Maybe you will be, too. And just for shits and giggles, I added some commentary to each.

U.S. sales for toys grew by $256 million to reach $3.6 billion in Q1 and in early April, toy brand Ravensburger reported that its puzzle sales had increased by 370%. Source: Adweek 

For some granularity, as per NPD, Games and Puzzles, Outdoor & Sports Toys, Building Sets, and Arts & Crafts drove the sales increases with growth of 55 percent, 22 percent, 20 percent, and 13 percent, respectively, over the first quarter of 2020.

In other words, people wanted “old school” quarantainment vs the digital variety. They wanted (and still do) want true interaction, engagement type games. Like the kinds I used to play with my brothers when I was younger. Never got to be the race car, either. Not that I’m bitter or anything.

Forrester has predicted that the global loss in the retail sector will likely hit $2.1 trillion in 2020 and will take four years to overtake the levels of growth seen before the pandemic. Source: econsultancy 

No one should be surprised by this staggering amount of loss from retail. No one. I’m not sure how Forrester arrived at the four-year plan, I’m sure they have models and algorithms and the like to make such a prediction. The fact is no one knows for sure how long it will take and we know many businesses/brands will never return.

North American chain stores see an 80% year-on-year rise in ecommerce sales Source: econsultancy

Once again, there should be no shock and awe reading this stat. The interesting thing to watch, of course, is if this will stay the norm and for how long? Brick & mortars are beginning to open around the country/world but how many people will step inside vs. picking and clicking? Same thing as previous as well, no one knows.

However, I will make a prediction:

“Physical stores will come back after the pandemic and perhaps even bigger than before.”

Why? Because we’re humans, that’s why. For the same reason people are flocking to beaches as we speak. For the same reason people will go to sporting events as soon as they can. We are human. We crave and need human interaction and engagement. And if we happen to pick up a cheese grater and pair of pants along the way, even better.

But rest assured if consumers flock to bricks & mortars those brands better be ready for them across the proverbial board meaning it cannot be the way it was. Remember before COVID how customer experience was the be all, end all for physical stores; how the in-store CX really needed to be on point because more and more consumers were moving to e-comm?

And I make my fearless forecast even in the face of…

Nearly half of global consumers say they will not return to shops for ‘some time’ or ‘a long time’ after lockdown ease Source: econsultancy

Oh I’m sure the people who responded to the survey meant what they said; that they will not return for a long time post pandemic but a little voice inside my head tells me something else. And the whole “best laid plans often go awry” mindset enters my conscious stream of thought, too.

Years ago I worked on research whereby consumers were surveyed in September as to when and how they planned on conducting their holiday shopping later that same year. While I don’t remember actual percentages, I can tell you a significant amount of those surveyed indicated they would A) get all their shopping done by the first two weeks of December and B) the majority of their shopping would be done online.

Of course you know what happened: A great number of people ended up putting off their shopping and making the most of their purchases in store.

Yes, I realize this is not an apples-to-apples comparison for we’re talking about someone’s health when it cones to the current state of affairs but mark my word, people will return to brick and mortars for all the reasons already mentioned.

Average CMO Tenure Drops To Lowest Since 2009 Source: Wall Street Journal 

According to executive search and leadership advisory firm Spencer Stuart, the average CMO tenure fell from 43 months to 41 months year–over-year from 2018 to 2019. The 41 months represents “the lowest since 2009” says Greg Welch, practice leader for marketing, sales and communication at Spencer Stuart.

The big question, naturally, is why?

Why is the CMO continually the lowest-tenured member of the C-Suite in general and why is their tenure, tenuous at best, going down?

Well, there are a lot of reasons for this, too many for me to get into them all here. But I can tell you chief among them are:

  • CEOs who simply “do not get marketing.”
  • CEOs who are not a cultural fit with their CMOs and vice-versa.

Allow me to elaborate. Or better still, allow me to share real life experiences to demonstrate what I mean.

About a month ago I got a call from a CMO/a member of my “family.”  They were in a panic, literally for their CEO just told them “they don’t see the value in marketing.” Yes, you read that right.

Should come as no surprise to learn that said CEO graduated to this role after having served as CFO of the same company. I say should come as no surprise because when you combine this fact with their thoughts on marketing, it makes all the sense in the world.

Here’s an ex-finance person who only sees numbers AKA sales. I don’t care what you’re doing, it better all lead back to a sale otherwise why are you here? And when I say lead back to a sale i mean it better lead directly to a sale.  No stopping for gas. No stopping to eat. No stopping to sleep. And sure as hell no stopping to enjoy the view.

No, the road you are on has one stop and one stop only: the finish line and the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.

Get it?

As for the cultural fit issue, more times than you can possibly imagine the reason a CMO is not successful because there is simply a misalignment between them and the CEO along the cultural lines.

Perhaps it’s because a CMO can tend to have a creative background or because they get to the “fun” things like make commercials and meet celebrities – those kinds of things that a CEO may look as being esoteric, if you will.

Now, you would think these kinds of potential issues would be addressed during the interview phase, right? Yeah, think again quiz kid. They’re not. At least not anywhere as much as they should be.

So again, it comes down to why?

That’s an easy one. The CMO hiring experience is broken; it’s archaic; it’s antiquated on steroids; it’s… you get the point,.

I apologize for my digression re: the last stat but I of course have very strong feelings when it comes to anything CMO, especially tenure.

I’ll stop here and I promise to try and not be so verbose/borderline pedantic on my next stats-esque post.

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