Marketers Lack Confidence in Complex Digital Marketing Abilities

pulsepoint-current-digital-marketing-capabilities-may2012.jpgMost marketers are not yet confident in their ability to execute complex digital marketing programs, details PulsePoint [download page] in May 2012 survey results. The study found that a multi-channel approach (referring to marketing programs using 2 or more channels) was the most commonly identified capability, at 65% of marketers, with just one-quarter saying they are capable of running more complex cross-channel marketing programs (referring to programs across multiple digital channels that are highly coordinated). Only 1 in 10 engage in real-time interactive marketing, the most sophisticated capability that leverages real-time or dynamic interactions to automatically deliver the most relevant messages and content across digital channels and programs.

Interestingly, agencies appear more confident in their ability to execute more complex digital campaigns: 27% said they were capable of handling a real-time interactive marketing program, compared to 13% of publishers and 10% of marketers.

Agencies Much More Satisfied With Their Effectiveness

Data from “Bridging the Digital Divide” indicates that a similar pattern emerges when looking at how respondents rated the effectiveness of their current marketing capabilities. Just 3 in 10 respondents rated their multi-channel marketing effectiveness a top-2 box score, though agencies were far more likely to do so than marketers (57% vs. 15%). Similarly, agencies were far more confident in their cross-channel marketing effectiveness (48% vs. 13%) and real-time interactive marketing effectiveness (45% vs. 6%).

PulsePoint insight suggests that the intermediary role that agencies play between multiple brands and publishers, along with their co-functional account service teams and repeated need for best practice efficiencies, may explain their heightened effectiveness ratings.

Metrics Seen Key Priority

Looking at key priorities for the next 12 months, marketers overwhelmingly say that measuring campaign performance is their top priorities, followed by optimizing within channels and real-time measurement and optimization. These priorities are directly correlated with the top challenges they see for improving marketing capabilities: lacking real-time data and analytics; difficulty assessing ROI; and complexity of technologies and platforms.

The challenges posed to marketers by the complexity and volume of data were also seen recently in a DataXu survey released in March 2012. According to results from that survey, just one-quarter of marketers said the software tools they currently use allow them to determine if they are efficiently allocating their digital marketing spend, and only one-third say their tools provide insights into variance of demand in real-time.

Other Findings:

  • According to the PulsePoint report, marketers’ effectiveness ratings are low across all capabilities, but are lowest for their ability to execute with unified customer views across digital channels.
  • The top priority over the next 12 months for publishers was employing newer channels. Among agency respondents, the largest proportion said that measuring campaign performance was their top priority, with newer channels next.
  • The most commonly-cited challenge by publishers was the complexity of technologies and platforms. Among agencies, the need for better attribution was the most commonly indicated challenge to improving marketing capabilities.
  • Most respondents (marketers, agencies, and publishers) expect to increase their relationships with digital agencies.
  • Almost 1 in 2 marketers expect to increase their compensation based on sales revenues.

About the Data: The PulsePoint survey was conducted in collaboration with Digiday and the CMO Club. The survey was completed by almost 400 executives from marketing, agency, and publishing firms from February 20 to March 11, 2012. These were further screened for senior executives defined by the following titles: Founders, C-Class, EVP/SVP/VP, and Director (plus Publisher). This resulted in the analyzed sample of 293 (Marketers = 154; Agencies = 76; Publishers = 61).