In the past few years, the marketing industry has morphed into a digital steam engine, charging marketers through uncharted territories across social media, web content, media optimization and more.
But marketers haven’t felt comfortable with this powerful innovation. How would it be controlled? How would its effectiveness be measured? What type of people should be at the wheel? According to a recent Adobe survey of marketers, 76% feel the industry has changed more in the past two years than in the previous 5, and fewer than half of marketers today feel highly proficient in digital.
This type of performance anxiety has built a digital marketing industry that is ravenous for data—any key leanings that will help pave the way on this digital marketing journey.
Recently Adobe, in partnership with Econsultancy, kicked off a global survey of more than 2,500 marketers and Internet professionals, in hopes of better understanding what companies and agencies alike are prioritising in 2014.
The result? Sixty pages of valuable input from the coal-face of marketing and ecommerce highlighting key trends, challenges and opportunities in digital marketing today—covering topics ranging from customer experience and mobile to cross-channel marketing and email optimization.
Here’s a sneak peek at the meat inside this report:
- Customer experience is the single most exciting opportunity for in-house marketers in 2014, above mobile and content marketing.
- In the world of B2B, content marketing is king. For B2C marketers, however, mobile sits in at the top of the priority pile.
- 2014 is a year of experimentation and agility. Does your company culture instill a fear of failure? The inability to test, learn, and rejigger an approach is holding many companies back from digital success.
- Consumer expectations outpace corporate innovations. There is no doubt about it—consumers are in control. And aside from grabbing consumer attention, customer stickiness has become increasingly difficult as personalized offers and information from other brands increases at a staggering rate.
- Evolving role for email as marketers seek to engage with millennials. Over 90% of businesses use email as a cheap and powerful way of both broadcasting news and providing personal, 1:1 communication. However the debate of emails effectiveness in reaching a younger, social-minded audience continues.
- Technology brings efficiency and immediacy to display advertising in what has been a historically chaotic landscape for media buying. And as the efficiency of television advertising dwindles, brands should be able to effectively cobble together large audiences comprised of the right people—albeit from many different sources.
- Marketers fit for the future need to find the balance between extremes. More so than ever, marketing has become a combination of art and science—and the need for left-brained engineers who will eat, sleep and breathe technology into their marketing teams is just as prevalent as the call for creative geniuses. Breaking down organisational silos and balancing these two extremes continues to be a challenge.
- Companies focus on harmonising cross-channel messaging and experience. As technology evolves so too do marketing channels—consider Vine, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr and other channels that have surged into popularity. Managing these multiple channels with consistency has become an increasingly crucial discipline for marketers.
- Mobile has won—the time for procrastination is over. There couldn’t be a safer bet than to predict that mobile will continue to grow in significance for businesses, as more customers adopt tablets, smartphones and wearable technology. 2014 will continue to see businesses work harder to improve the mobile experience, and to understand what mobile means for their customers.
- Content, mobile and social will become business as usual. While the vast majority of marketers understand that improving the customer experience must be one of the sole focuses of digital marketing, most companies are still gathering the right tools for their toolbox in order to create such experiences. But as marketing technology moves into a more integrated set of solutions, these functions should bring greater value in the year to come.
May this full report help enable us all to better understand the mindset, needs and concerns of today’s digital marketing professionals—so that the technology, process and people will continue to evolve. I look forward to continuing this discussion with all of you during 2014. We’re on this digital marketing journey together—let’s never stop finding new ways to improve.