Adobe Digital Roadblock Report 2015

Changes—whether they be environmental, emotional, behavioral, etc.—have been a source of dramatic uncertainty since the beginning of time. Debris on the motorway affecting your morning drive? Air turbulence changing the comfort of your recent business trip? Your mother in law’s presence changing the dynamic in your household? The frustrating roadblocks that too often crop up in life can almost always be pinpointed on some element of change.

And so too for marketers, as I’m out every day speaking to top brands across Europe, the resounding theme I hear time and again is how businesses will be able to adapt to and succeed amidst change. New and evolving technologies are too often to blame for the digital roadblocks facing European marketers today—and as the leader in digital marketing technology—Adobe has once again taken the pulse of marketers across Europe to better understand how they are being impacted by these dramatic changes.

In the Adobe Digital Roadblock Report 2015, we surveyed 1,311 marketers across the UK, Germany and France—with top insights emerging around:

Marketers are seeing their industry transforming at a rapid pace – the face of marketing is changing

  • Roughly 5 in 6 marketers (86%) feel the pace of change is accelerating and over half (58%) believe marketing has changed more in the past year than in the previous 5 years.
  • 7 in 10 marketers believe marketing is entirely different today than when they started their marketing career and that digital tools and proliferation of channels are fundamentally changing the nature of marketing.

The reaction to these changes is overwhelmingly positive

  • Seventy-two percent agree they are at the start of a golden age of marketing and most see this is an opportunity rather than a threat (87%).
  • Marketers describe feeling challenged (56%) and optimistic (55%).

Marketing’s business influence and impact is seen as increasing

  • Seventy-three percent believe the marketing function has increased in influence in the past 5 years and marketing is seen to strongly influence overall business strategy (65%).
  • Sixty-nine percent agree that marketing is increasingly responsible for revenue contribution.

New technologies are transforming how marketers interact with their audiences; marketers must master these technologies to stay relevant

  • Marketers believe that internet-connected devices enable marketing to permeate every aspect of consumer life (69%) and marketers must become skilled in mobile 2 (70%) to reach these consumers.
  • Technology is contributing to the change in consumer expectations – consumers now expect immediate responses (78%), compelling content (77%), uniquely tailored marketing (69%) and 24/7 engagement with brands (65%).

Mobile is most important to marketers now. Wearable and the internet of things will be crucial in the future.

  • 72% believe the rise of mobile and wearable technology has taken marketing into new territory and 52% believe marketing today is all about mobile and internet-connected devices.
  • While mobile and marketing for computers will continue to be important 3 years from now, it is wearables, IOT, and embedded screens that will see the largest shift in importance for marketers.

Technology has changed how marketing effectiveness is measured

  • Nearly 3 in 5 (58%) believe new technologies are changing how they reach audiences and analyze marketing effectiveness.
  • 60% agree capturing and applying data to inform and drive marketing activities is the new reality.
  • 59% agree that data (metrics from digital ads, campaigns, website, etc.) are informative in evolving their company’s marketing creative .

Marketers are open to implementing technology (64%), and taking risks (57%) – however there is reluctance around adopting technology that is not yet mainstream.

  • Change is imperative. Marketers expect to adapt to tech advancements to keep pace with the industry (74%).

Although these changes are welcome and many feel optimistic, there is still concern around both their companies and their own abilities to meet these changes

  • 66% say their company is somewhat to very well set up to deal with changes – of those only 10% say it is set up very well to do so.
  • Being tech-savvy – an early adopter of technology – is seen as key for an ideal successful marketer (57%), yet only 30% describe themselves in these terms.
  • Marketers see their companies as performing well on traditional marketing activities, but they are underperforming on activities marketers identify as most critical in the years to come, (big data, IoT, endemic marketing, and mobile marketing). These areas are also among those found to be most challenging for marketers.

I think we can all relate to these themes and, at Adobe, our job is to help knock down the digital roadblocks of today—partnering with you to build a digital roadmap to help you capitalize on marketing’s golden age. Check out the full report below for more information, and let’s continue this conversation as we combat digital change.


Front cover

Adobe Digital Roadblock Report 2015

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Key Findings

key findings

Most agree the pace of change in marketing is accelerating, but they are divided on how that change is happening:

slide 8 chart; pace of change in marketing

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7 in 10 claim marketing is completely different today than when they began their career:

slide 9 chart; attitudes on marketing

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… with more than half feeling challenged and optimistic about industry changes:

Slide 11 chart; top descriptions around industry changes

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The marketing function has increased in influence in the past five years, most notably in France:


Slide 12 Chart; influence of marketing

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Influence on corporate strategy remains strong, with a quarter naming marketing as the largest contributor to future revenue:

Slide 13 (Both charts); marketing influence on strategy + largest contributer to business revenue

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New technologies are a driving force behind industry change:

Slide 14 chart; forces of change

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These technology changes affect personal approaches to marketing…

slide 15 chart; changes in personal approaches

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…And feed the expectation that marketers should keep up with advancements in tech, mobile, and social.

Slide 16 chart; attitudes on marketers

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Consumer expectations are higher than ever –immediate responses and compelling content are needed to deliver:

Slide 13 Chart; Changes in Consumer Expectations

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Marketers feel they have the necessary skills and are prepared to implement new technologies:

Slide 18 chart; self assessment

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37% of marketers worry about their ability to keep up:

Slide 18 Charts; You and Your Company's Ability to Keep Up with Changes

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Many organization structures are not well set up to meet marketing changes

  • Those with the highest digital spend and most tech savvy were most likely to say their company was well set up

Slide 32 Chart; How well is your company's structure set up

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A successful marketer is seen as tech savvy, however only a third of marketers describe themselves as such

Slide 21 Chart; Perceptions of Ideal Marketers vs Self

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Marketers vary in the challenges they are faced within trends and technologies

Slide 23 chart; trends and technologies challenges

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Delivery channels are bound to change in the future – nearly 7 in 10 believe that wearables will be important in delivering quality service

Slide 24 Chart; Future Importance in Customer Experience Delivery Across Devices

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The need to adapt is immediate: mobile marketing, e-commerce, and personalization and targeting are projected to be less important in 3 years

Slide 25 Chart; Future Marketing Tactics

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Traditional marketing is where marketers feel performance is strongest

Slide 26 Chart; Company Performance

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Lack of resources and budget are the key barriers holding marketers back

Slide 27 Chart; Barriers to Success

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Change in the industry is seen as an opportunity and the beginning of a golden age of marketing…

Slide 29 Chart; Feelings Towards Changes in the Marketing Industry

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53% claim to have heard about a new marketing channel or term within the past month

Slide 31 Chart; Familiarity with New Marketing Terms

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Marketers are worried about their ability to keep up, and even more so about their company’s ability to do so

  • 70% of tech challenged* marketers are worried about their company
  • 71% of tech challenged* marketers are worried about themselves

Slide 18 Charts; You and Your Company's Ability to Keep Up with Changes

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Unsurprisingly, roughly 1 in 3 cite shortages in tech and data related roles. Digital Marketers and Mobile Marketers are still highly sought after

Slide 20 Chart; Representation of Roles

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Most marketers believe in the importance of delivering for mobile websites and computers, but there is a disconnect in solving for these devices

Slide 23 Chart; Importance vs Use of Devices

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For new technologies, marketers’ confidence in preparedness to deliver falls below actual performance

Slide 33 Chart; Performance vs Confidence in Devices

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Areas identified as most critical in the years to come are the areas where performance is lowest

Slide 34 Chart; Company Performance

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2 in 3 marketers feel they have the necessary skills to perform successfully

Slide 35 Chart; Do you have the necessary skills

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Still, they realize the need for skill development – 44% plan to learn from attending training seminars

Slide 36 Chart; Skills Training

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Communication across channels and with customers rise to the top as key for effectiveness

Slide 37 Chart; Future Determinants of Marketing Effectiveness

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Almost 2 in 5 believe that partnerships with sales are critical in making digital marketing work…

Slide 38 Chart; Most Critical Partners in Digital Marketing

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…And integration across business functions can be improved

Slide 39 Chart; Dynamic between Marketing and Other Departments

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  • 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

Slide 2 Methodology

Further information and regional breakdown

Please view the full report on Slideshare

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