On my way home from Adobe’s successful Digital Marketing Summit this year, I thought about the tremendous number of takeaways from the 130+ sessions we hosted. We discussed ways to conceptualize, strategize, optimize, and analyze. The overarching principle shared was the concept of marketing reinvention.
During the event, we shared with attendees the results of our Digital Roadblock report , an online survey of more than 1,000 US marketers. In this post, we’ll discuss those results, with an eye toward a deep dive into the questions, responses, and takeaways from the report in future posts.
The report data is broken out within two subgroups: 1) companies that reported below average or average business performance versus companies that reported superior business performance and 2) companies with high digital spend. On average, responses showed that enterprises are struggling to reinvent their marketing practices as marketer roles evolve.
We found 10 key findings within five concept tracks that illustrate the struggles that marketers are going through.
Marketers know they must reinvent themselves but don’t know how to step through.
1. 64% of marketers expect their role to change over the next year; 81% in the next three years.
2. Two in five marketers (40%) stated that they wanted to reinvent themselves, while only 14% of those marketers actually know how to step through a reinvention.
3. Respondents cited a lack of training in new marketing skills (30%) and organizational inability to adapt (30%) as key obstacles to becoming the marketers they aspire to be.
Future marketers need to take more risks.
4. 54% of marketers believe the ideal marketer should take more risks, and 45% hope to take more risks
5. Nearly two out of three marketers (65%) said they are more comfortable adopting new technologies once they become mainstream.
Companies need to hire more digital talent.
6. Respondents cited digital/social marketers (47%), data analysts (38%), creative development (38%), and mobile marketers (36%) as the key roles their companies must invest in over the next year.
Marketers recognize the importance of data but aren’t widely using it to make informed decisions.
7. 76% of marketers agree they need to be more data focused to succeed.
8. Almost half (49%) report “trusting my gut” to guide decisions on where to invest their marketing budgets.
9. 72% agree that long-term success at their company is tied to proving marketing ROI.
Mobile and personalization are becoming bigger priorities.
10. Finally, 61% see social media as the most critical marketing vehicle to focus on a year from now, followed closely by mobile at 51%. When asked to prioritize one capability over the other, as to which will influence their company’s marketing moving forward, personalization ranked highest.
Marketers recognize the evolving factors that are contributing to the new digital marketing environment. In fact, they are (mostly) in alignment when it comes to the major driving forces. When asked about the driving forces behind this need for change, marketers responded as follows:
- 73% cite expanded number of channels and platforms to reach audiences
- 71% cite new ways of thinking about audience engagement
- 71% cite new technologies for analyzing marketing effectiveness
- 61% cite the challenge of “breaking through the noise” to reach target audiences
The pace of change, new responsibilities for the marketing function, and recognition of marketing’s contribution to business success were also indicated as reinvention justification.
Prior to Summit, I posted a series on assessing your digital marketing score. We looked at the business pillars of product, process, and people. As we journey toward the reinvention of marketing, I’ll take the same approach. Join me as we head down from the Summit and get to work revolutionizing global marketing, reimagining the tools we’ll use to deploy marketing, and reinventing marketers to deliver success.