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EconsultancyAdobe-Marketers-Single-Most-Exciting-Opportunity-Jan2014What are marketers most excited about this year? That was one question posed by Econsultancy and Adobe in their latest quarterly intelligence briefing [download page]. The most accurate answer is… that it depends on who’s asked (sorry). While a somewhat surprising area topped the list for in-house marketers, the responses differed fairly significantly when respondents were split into various groups.

According to the global survey (which focused primarily on UK marketers), company respondents are most excited about customer experience (20%), beating out other oft-discussed topics such as mobile (18%) and content marketing (15%). Even personalization, social media and big data couldn’t hold a candle to CX, each picking up just 10% share of respondents.

It was a slightly different story among agency respondents, who tabbed the same top 3 opportunities, but in a different order. For agencies, mobile presents the most exciting opportunity of the year for a leading 21%, ahead of customer experience (17%) and content marketing (13%).

The differences are even more stark (and predictably so) when comparing B2C and B2B marketers. Content marketing shot to the clear lead among B2B marketers, among whom 24% named it their single most exciting opportunity. Customer experience (15%) was a relatively distant second, followed by multichannel campaign management (11%) and mobile (10%). For B2C respondents, mobile (22%) edged customer experience (21%) as the most exciting opportunity; only 11% are most excited about content marketing, on par with personalization.

The study also contains some intriguing results concerning what company marketers believe the most exciting opportunities will be in 5 years’ time. Notably, CX retains its position at the top of the list, with 20% share of respondents again saying it will be the most exciting opportunity. Next up, 17% believe that multichannel campaign management will be the most exciting area (as opposed to 10% today), while 15% feel that way about personalization (compared to 10% today).

While there’s plenty of buzz these days about content marketing, social, and mobile (and deservedly so), company marketers believe that the excitement surrounding those areas will die down over the next few years. A comparatively small 11% (versus 18% today) feel that mobile will be the area of most opportunity in five years; just 7% share that sentiment about content marketing (compared to 15% today) and 5% about social media (versus 10% today).

How about marketers’ top digital priorities? The study provided respondents with a list of 13 digital-related areas, asking them to name their top 3 priorities this year. The responses indicate that while some areas aren’t considered the most exciting now or in the future, they are top priorities. The top 3 for each group were:

Company Respondents

  • Content marketing (36%);
  • Social media engagement (36%); and
  • Targeting and personalization (32%).

Agency Respondents

  • Multichannel campaign management (35%);
  • Content marketing (35%); and
  • Social media engagement (34%).

B2B Respondents

  • Content marketing (44%);
  • Content optimization (26%); and
  • Social media engagement (26%).

B2C Respondents

  • Targeting and personalization (34%);
  • Conversion rate optimization (33%); and
  • Social media engagement (32%).

About the Data: The results are based on a survey of more than 2,500 marketers and internet professionals carried out at the end of 2013. 37% are based in the UK and one-quarter elsewhere in Europe. 46% of company respondents and 28% of agency respondents are exclusively focused on B2C marketing; the corresponding figures for B2B marketing were 29% and 33%, respectively.

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