It doesn’t seem like too long ago that digital marketing priorities consisted of a website, email marketing, banner advertising and maybe some ads in a search engine. Now there is a long list of marketing tactics and strategic planning involved in every effective online campaign.
What’s more, many of these activities take a lot of time and expertise to implement, maintain, manage and track. What once could be done by one average marketer, now requires an exceptionally multi-skilled marketing expert, or a team of people who specialize in specific areas. Marketers must not only be knowledgeable, but also creative, talented writers with professional social skills. Additionally, online marketing is in a perpetual state of evolution, making it imperative that marketers be passionate enough to keep up with the latest methods.
Finding that level of expertise is a challenge, particularly for the small-medium businesses that are the backbone of the Canadian economy. Many of these businesses have found the most cost-effective and feasible way to have it all is by contracting remote talent.
Econsultancy / Adobe Digital Intelligence Benchmark Data
The 2017 Econsultancy / Adobe Digital Intelligence Briefing provides valuable, global benchmark data that can help guide Canadian marketers in their own efforts to prioritize. A total of 14,163 respondents took part in the survey and 28% of respondents were located in North America.
Which three digital-related areas are the top priorities for your organization in 2017?
- Content Marketing 29%
- Social Media Engagement 28%
- Targeting and Personalisation 25%
- Brand Building / Viral Marketing 23%
- Video Content 21%
- Customer Journey Management 21%
- Multi-channel Campaign Management 17%
- Search Engine Marketing 15%
- Mobile Optimization 15%
- Conversion Rate Optimization 14%
- Marketing Automation 13%
- Mobile App Engagement 12%
- Social Media Analytics 10%
- Joining Up Online and Offline Data 9%
- Customer Scoring and Predictive Marketing 8%
- Real-Time Marketing 6%
- Programmatic Buying / Optimization 5%
- None of the Above 5%
Today’s digital marketing often focuses on lead generation and new customers, but that doesn’t make customer retention any less important. Many businesses seem to struggle with using the Internet to retain customers through online engagement, support, personalisation, and long-range sales funnels. This challenge is amplified by the lack of strategic data use, which, in turn, gets in the way of everything from predictive marketing to automation. Tracking, analyzing, and utilizing data from multiple sources, across an often complex customer journey, is intimidating and overwhelming to even expert marketers who understand its importance.
What best describes your company’s budget plans for the following digital marketing channels or disciplines in 2017?
It’s interesting to note the differences between what marketers consider to be their top priority and what they’re actually spending their budget on.
For example, while social media is the #2 priority of marketers after content, they actually spend most of their budget on it. That discrepancy may have more to do with the expense of covering the vast universe of social media than the level of importance. Tackling the top social media networks involves investment in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest, all with their own unique audience, marketing options and advertising formats.
Networks like Facebook and Instagram have reduced organic reach to a trickle, in an effort to force companies to pay for advertising. Unfortunately, they’ve all but forgotten the importance of user preferences in the process. That may prove to be a fatal mistake, but it will be a slow death if it does indeed result in their demise. Meanwhile, new networks and platforms are entering the social world. Case in point: Snapchat’s popularity jumped to 42% in 2016, practically doubling usage in 2015. In short, some marketing simply costs more.
Other marketing plays overlap multiple categories. Personalisation, for example, can be strategically applied to dynamic website content, email marketing, social media, real-time mobile marketing, programmatic ad purchasing, or multi-channel campaigns. That makes it difficult to nail down associated expenses, yet it’s distinct and important enough to have its own category. In fact, another report from Econsultancy indicated 96% of businesses consider personalisation to be “quite” or “highly” valuable in improving conversion rates.
How Does Canadian Digital Marketing Compare?
A survey from the Canadian Association of Marketing Professionals & Ignite Digital, Canadian Marketers 2016 Outlook, found that digital marketing influences the business strategy of 80% of respondents. Sales are the top goal of digital marketers, followed by increasing brand awareness and improving customer service. Read the Canadian Digital Marketing Report and Canadian Digital Advertising Trends for 2016 (Statistics) for more information.
How do your digital marketing priorities compare to the majority? Is anything preventing you from jumping on the most popular opportunities?
✔ You may also be interested in reading:
Canadian Email Marketing Benchmark Data
Top 12 Types of Web Analytics Tools Used by Marketing Experts
How to Start an Affiliate Program for a Canadian Business
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