Online-Offline Integration Among Digital Marketers’ Top Priorities For the Year Ahead

MarinSoftware-Digital-Marketers-Top-Priorities-Dec2014What are digital marketers’ top priorities for the next 12 months? A new survey [download page] from Marin Software sheds some light on what to expect in the year ahead, showing that while a better understanding of audiences (51%) ranks as the top priority, better integration of various channels and disciplines will also be a key area of focus.

The survey, fielded among more than 300 marketers in the UK and US (the US respondents are Marin Software customers), found that digital marketers also see these as strong priorities:

  • Cross-channel digital marketing (50%);
  • Better integrating online and offline marketing efforts (46%); and
  • Better integrating digital marketing disciplines (44%).

Results from the survey certainly indicate that there’s room for improvement in channel integration. With respect to digital marketing disciplines (such as search, social and display), only 27% of respondents report total integration, while 61% say there is some integration but a need for more, and 12% say there’s a total lack of integration.

There’s even more work to be done integrating online and offline programs. Fewer than one-quarter (24%) of respondents say their digital marketing is totally integrated with all other marketing areas including offline, almost matched by the 20% who say digital marketing is not integrated with offline marketing at all. (The remaining 57% report some integration but a need for more.)

Sticking with the online-offline divide, the study includes an interesting look at budgets, which have been shifting from traditional media to digital media. Asked how a comparison of the ROI of their offline and digital marketing spend would impact budgets, respondents (remember, these are digital marketers) responded in the following manner:

  • 32% feel they should shift a little offline spend to digital;
  • 31% feel they have the balance about right;
  • 21% feel they should shift much more offline spend to digital; and
  • Just 3% feel they should shift budget from digital to offline.

In other words, expect the budget trends to continue. The study’s authors note, however, that traditional channels are evolving in their own right and blurring the lines with digital, citing TV’s increasingly digital and programmatic nature as well as growing consumption of internet radio. For the moment, though,¬†the audiences of these major media differ quite significantly, as detailed in a popular MarketingCharts’ Debrief, US Media Audience Demographics, which illustrates¬†how online TV, radio and print audiences differ from their offline equivalents.