Where Marketers Feel They’re Failing to Keep Pace

Adobe-Marketers-Perceived-Proficiency-in-Most-Important-Areas-Sept2013Few marketers deem their companies proficient in the marketing areas they feel are most important, according to a new report from Adobe, which also finds only 40% of marketers rating their company’s marketing as effective. The biggest gap between importance and proficiency was in the area of marketing measurement, which 76% of respondents rated as important to their company (top-3 box score on a 10-point scale), but at which only 29% felt their company was performing well (top-3 box score).

The next biggest gaps (42% points) were for “creativity and innovation in marketing programs” and “customer response management.” The study found 75% of the 1,017 US marketers rating each area as important, with only 33% rating their company as proficient at them. Other significant gaps between importance and proficiency emerged for content management (40% points), personalization and targeting (40% points) and cross-channel marketing (38% points). The smallest gap, of 19% points, was for events, with 58% rating them important for their company and 39% feeling their company performs well at them.

The survey finds a particular lack of confidence in digital marketing abilities, with only 48% of digital marketers (marketers with a primarily digital focus) feeling highly proficient in digital marketing. (Only 37% of marketing generalists concurred.) Indeed, 54% of respondents overall agreed that their company’s digital marketing approach is in a constant cycle of trial and error.

A PulsePoint study released last year similarly found a lack of confidence on the part of marketers in executing complex digital campaigns, with that report also suggesting that marketing measurement was a top priority among respondents.

More worrisome for the Adobe respondents is that some of the areas they feel least-equipped to deal with are those they also believe to be most important. For example, only 54% feel well-equipped to deal with marketing measurement.

Despite these problems, marketers don’t feel as if they can avoid digital, as two-thirds of the respondents feel that companies won’t succeed unless they have a digital marketing approach. In line with that, 58% will be investing in digital channels and programs more than last year, while only 5% will reduce their spending.

About the Data: The data is derived from a survey of 1,017 US marketers fielded between August 26 and September 11, 2013 by Research Now. The margin of error at the 95% confidence level for the total sample is +/- 3.1%.