It’s never been a more exciting time to be a marketer – in fact in our 2015 Digital Roadblock report, 68% of UK marketers agreed that we are entering a ‘golden age’ of marketing. And it appears that our profession is indeed flourishing, we have more choice than ever before when it comes to methods of reaching and engaging with our customers. Half of you said that you had heard about a new marketing channel or term within just the past month and 3 in 5 said that new technologies are the driving forces behind this change.
This brings us to the paradox of choice, while opportunity abounds, how do we make sure we are answering the business’ needs now, as well as preparing for a future where virtually everything will be a channel to reach audiences on? Plus, consumer expectations are higher than ever before – they want to engage on their own terms, no matter the time, the channel, the device and the content has to be good. You’ll see from the results that marketers are being heavily challenged with this, and while the majority are excited about the opportunities, they are also concerned about how well prepared both they themselves and their companies are for this new digital age.
But, perhaps one of the biggest surprises for me in this survey was that marketers rated eCommerce as their most critical focus area in the next 12 months –above cross-channel marketing, content management, personalisation and all the other elements you would have expected. To me this says that marketing’s influence really is spreading across businesses, and perhaps the traditional sales, IT, marketing, finance barriers are finally coming down. If this is true, then we really are entering a golden age for marketing.
Here’s a summary of the key findings:
UK marketers see the industry changing dramatically and the change is only accelerating; they’re optimistic and see it as an opportunity
- Eighty-five percent of marketers see the changes in marketing as an opportunity (UK 85%) ; nearly half (47%) feel optimistic and are excited (46%) about the changes.
- While optimistic, UK marketers worry about their ability to keep up (48%, 37% EMEA); they feel underprepared for the changes within their industry (41%) and feel they are along for the ride rather than driving change (51%).
- Marketers believe they are expected to adapt to tech advancements to keep pace with the industry (73%) , yet only 19% describe themselves as tech savvy (early adopter)
New technologies are transforming how marketers interact with their audiences and how marketing effectiveness is measured
- 3 in 5 marketers believe new technologies are the driving forces of change (UK 61%, FR 50%; DE 63%)
- Marketers believe that internet-connected devices enable marketing to permeate every aspect of consumer life (70%). Marketers must become skilled in mobile5 (63%) and in delivering consistent customer experience across mobile and IoT devices to reach these consumers
- New technology is contributing to the change in consumer expectations – consumers now expect immediate responses (79%), compelling content (74%), uniquely tailored marketing (62%) and brands to communicate directly to them (73%).
- 58% agree capturing and applying data to inform and drive marketing activities is the new reality.
- 57% agree that data (metrics from digital ads, campaigns, website, etc.) are informative in evolving their company’s marketing creative.
British marketers recognise that a fundamental change to marketing is needed (59%, FR 54%, DE 42%), but technological changes haven’t enticed them to abandon traditional marketing approaches
- Holding onto old methods continues to be the trend as British marketers are less likely to implement new technologies (UK 58%, FR 68%, DE 67%) and are more likely trust their gut when making decisions (UK 55% ‚FR 41%, DE 38% )
- Areas identified as most critical in the future, such as IoT and mobile marketing, are also the areas where performance is weakest
Marketers worry about their company’s ability to keep up (51%)5, as resources and lack of training in new skills are barriers to success
- UK marketers see marketing’s influence on strategy decreasing (UK 61% strongly/very strongly in 2015 vs. 70% in 2014)
- UK marketers are less likely than their European counterparts to believe that the marketing functions is increasingly responsible for contribution to future revenue (UK 64% vs, FR 73%, DE 71%)
- Lack of resources (41%) and training in new marketing skills (30%) are named as the top barriers to success
- Mobile Marketer, Data Analyst and Digital Marketer are the most underrepresented roles (29%, 28%, 27% respectively) – and these roles continue to be the top areas for hiring need year over year
Take a look at the full results of the Adobe Digital Roadblock Report to see what UK marketers are thinking about now:
Adobe Digital Roadblock Report 2015
Most agree the pace of change in marketing is accelerating, they are divided on how that change is happening
… with nearly half feeling challenged and optimistic about industry changes
New technologies are a driving force behind industry change
These technology changes affect personal approaches to marketing…
…And feed the expectation that marketers should keep up with advancements in tech, mobile, and social
Consumer expectations are higher than ever –immediate responses and delivery of compelling content are key
Marketers are prepared to implement new technologies to meet these demands
The marketing function has increased in influence in the past five years
Influence on company strategy remains strong, with a quarter saying marketing contributes most to future revenue
Marketers are worried about their ability to keep up, more so than their company’s ability to do so
While struggles vary, nearly a quarter name big data and marketing measurement as challenges
1 in 3 cite shortages in tech and data related roles. Digital Marketers and Data Analysts are still highly sought after
A successful marketer is seen as tech savvy, but only a fifth of marketers describe themselves in such terms
A disconnect exists between importance of cross-platform consistency – and ability to solve for it
2/3 see consistent customer experience on wearables as important in three years
The need to adapt is immediate: mobile marketing, e-commerce, and content management are projected to be less important in 3 years
Areas identified as critical in the years to come are the areas where performance is lowest
Lack of resources and budget are the key barriers holding marketers back
- Lack of resources/budget was also the top concern in 2014
Changes are seen as an opportunity and the beginning of a golden age of marketing…
Marketers feel they have the skills and are prepared to implement new technologies
1 in 2 claim to have heard about a new marketing channel or term within the past month
Many see organizational structures as not well set up to meet marketing changes
- 66% of EMEA believe company structures are well set up
For new technologies, marketers’ confidence in preparedness to deliver falls below actual performance
Traditional marketing is where marketers feel performance is strongest
2 in 3 marketers feel they have the necessary skills to perform successfully
- 66% of EMEA believe they have all the skills and resources needed for success as a marketer
While many realize the need for skill development, 41% plan to learn from experimentation
Communication across channels and talent recruitment rise to the top as key for effectiveness
Over 1 in 3 believe that partnerships with sales are critical in making digital marketing work…
…And integration across business functions can be improved
- Online survey among a total of 1,311 European marketers
- Research managed by Edelman Berland
- Fieldwork: March 31- April 16, 2015
- This study is a refresh of research conducted with a comparable audience (350 European marketers) in May 2014