Where Do Digital Marketers’ Priorities Lie for the Year Ahead?

November 18, 2020

Altimeter Top Digital Marketing Priorities Nov2020Digital marketers have a clear vision of their priorities though some are working with less marketing resources than others, according to Altimeter’s State of Digital Marketing report [download page] for 2020. Here’s a roundup of the report’s findings on digital marketers’ goals for the year ahead.

Acquisition and Upselling Are Equally High Priorities

Based on a survey more than 450 digital marketers, the report indicates some development from previous research finding that, as a result of COVID-19, marketers were prioritizing customer retention in areas including social media and e-commerce personalization. In the case of those surveyed, acquiring new customers is now a top priority for digital marketers, as cited by some 40% of respondents (top 3).

Even so, digital marketers are concentrating on their existing customers: an almost-equal proportion (39%) said that increasing share-of-spend and revenues from key customers/accounts is one of their top 3 priorities in the year ahead.

Other top-3 goals include successfully launching new products or services (34%), developing brand reputation/raising targeted attributes (31%) and increasing brand awareness (31%).

In order to fulfill these objectives, marketers surveyed are considering various capability improvements, with the majority (52%) looking to improve the ability to personalize content, messaging and experiences based on different customer segments, personas or unique identity. More than 4 in 10 (42%) also want to improve the performance of their digital properties/channels (web, mobile, social, etc.), with 37% prioritizing developing more effective segmentation for prospect targeting and rule-based treatment.

Measuring Success

In order to measure the success of digital marketing campaigns, about three-quarters (74%) of respondents are tracking touchpoint engagement in addition to reach (e.g click-throughs, shares, comments, sign-ups) as a key metric.

About two-thirds (68%) are tracking funnel movement beyond reach and engagement (e.g number of warm leads, marketing qualified leads, sales qualified leads etc.), with only slightly fewer measuring revenue generated or attributed (e.g dollars of revenue or percentage of revenue touched), in addition, to reach, engagement and funnel movement (66%).

Top Challenges

Despite this progress and distinct vision for the future of their digital marketing campaign, organizations are experiencing challenges in the process. For the largest group of respondents (52%), purchasing or integrating the right marketing technology platforms is proving to be an obstacle, and for about the same proportion (51%), hiring the right marketing talent is challenging.

Half (49%) are challenged by scaling marketing best practices across business units and geographies, while more than 4 in 10 (42%) feel that continuing to innovate as the digital marketing industry evolves presents obstacles. Fortunately, at the other end of the scale, just 8% feel challenged by lack of control/ownership over digital properties (website, mobile site etc.).

COVID’s Impact

The data indicates that in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, digital marketers are clear on their goals – however, this is not to say that organizations’ campaigns have been unaffected by the crisis. Comparing how respondents described the allocation of digital marketing spend in 2019 with this year, the impact is clear.

Where in 2019 the largest segment of respondents thought that digital marketing received between 31-50% of overall marketing resources, the pandemic appears to have eroded this middle ground. In 2020, the largest shares of respondents either estimated that digital marketing received 21-30% of marketing resources or 61-70%. As the report highlights, organizations are either cutting costs as a response to the financial uncertainties of the crisis or upping investments in digital to keep up with customers moving online.

To read more, the full report can be downloaded here.

About the Data: Findings are based on a survey of 476 senior digital marketers across North America, Europe and China from companies with at least 1,000 employees.


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