Most Marketers Say They’re Improving the Accessibility of Their Digital Marketing

September 13, 2022

Some 83% of US marketers report that their company is doing more to provide accessibility in digital marketing than in the past, according to survey results from Capterra. Moreover, almost 7 in 10 believe that providing such features is important in order to execute successful campaigns, per the research.

Despite this, common demographic variables age (66%) and gender (51%) continue to be the main attributes that companies take into account when marketing to consumers, closely followed by education (48%). Physical ability is further down the list, cited by around one-third (35%) of respondents.

Virtually all marketers surveyed said that their digital content provides some type of accessibility feature. Visual accessibility features – such as enlargement, screen-reader compatibility, color adjustments, high contrast – are most prevalent, offered by two-thirds (66%) of respondents. Others provided by a majority include hearing (e.g. captioning, amplification, sign language translation – 56%), speaking (e.g. text-to-speech, speech recognition – 55%), and cognitive (e.g. easy-to-read format, dyslexia fonts – 53%). Each of these features is rated as very or somewhat effective by at least 7 in 10 marketers who are using them.

Marketers don’t appear to be too familiar with disability compliance laws, though, according to the report. Half believe there is no US law requiring federal government websites to be safe and accessible for people with disabilities, although such a law exists. Although fewer believe there isn’t a law prohibiting discrimination based on disability (of which there is one, The Americans with Disabilities Act), more than 4 in 10 are not aware of it. Finally, 83% of marketers believe that businesses that don’t adhere to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) can be fined, although there is no fine.

Interestingly, compliance sits at the bottom of the perceived benefits of accessible digital marketing. Among those that provide accessibility features in digital marketing content, improved customer service is considered by most to be a top-3 benefit (53%), followed by improved customer loyalty or retention (44%). Fewer than 1 in 5 (18%) said that a top-3 benefit is minimized legal risk.

Marketers may want to pay more attention to legal risk, though: research released in 2019 found that the number of lawsuits pertaining to website accessibility in the US had more than doubled between 2015 (4,789) and 2018 (10,165).

Other Findings:

  • The biggest challenge marketers face with implementing accessible digital marketing is the cost, or obtaining funding.
  • Respondents point to social media as the most difficult platform in which to provide accessibility.
  • Education or accessibility training is the top option that would motivate companies to be more proactive in improving accessibility to digital marketing content.
  • The Diversity & Inclusion team or council is most commonly cited as the primary driver of accessibility programs.

About the Data: The results are based on a July 2022 survey of 428 U.S. marketers. “Respondents were screened to work full-time in marketing, advertising, customer service, HR/finance, sales, or IT departments and have some level of involvement in marketing-related activities. A subset of 401 respondents indicated that their company currently offers accessibility features within their current digital marketing content.”

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