When looking at accomplishments in the past 12 months, more than half of marketers pointed to their effectiveness in uplifting digital marketing capabilities and improving engagement with customers online. Not surprisingly, there is still much room for advancement as nearly 60 percent of chief marketers list “digital marketing makeover” (involving platforms, programs and people) as the number one transformational project in the year ahead.
Expenditures are definitely tracking toward digital. Only 15 percent of marketers are spending less than 10 percent of their budgets on digital channels, engagements and automation compared to 15 percent who expect to spend more than 30 percent. More than 70 percent have allocated between 10 percent and 30 percent of their budgets to digital marketing. Despite these expenditures, just 6 percent of marketers give themselves an A+ when it comes to digital marketing performance. The majority (54 percent) believe they are “getting better by growing capabilities and improving measurement.”
Top areas of digital marketing investment in the next 12 months include email marketing, website performance optimization, mobile applications, lead management, website design and development, and search marketing. Improved efficiency and campaign effectiveness is cited as the top reason for deploying new digital solutions and cloud-based services.
Strategic areas of funding and resource allocation for marketers over the next 12 months include new product or program launches; corporate branding and identity building; and lead generation and qualification. Interestingly, 44 percent of marketers will be investing in customer retention and monetization, which is more efficient and profitable than subsidizing new customer acquisition, where most marketing dollars tend to flow. Some 39 percent of marketers will be spending 3 to 6 percent of revenue on marketing campaigns and programs compared to 40 percent who invest 2 percent or less.