It’s a trend you would have to be blind to have not realised – but a new report from Gartner says that digital marketing has now gone mainstream with 98% of marketers saying the world of online and offline marketing are merging.
It may be an obvious statement but it points to a bigger trend – that marketing in the digital age is now the norm and that marketing departments are having to reinvent themselves as a result. “This is a distinction from digital marketing to marketing in more of a digital world,” says Jake Sorofman, Gartner research vice president and chief of research for digital marketing.
The results come from Gartner’s 2015-2016 Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Spend survey, which between May and July surveyed business leaders responsible for digital marketing in 339 companies across North America and the UK who generate revenue in excess of $500 million. The survey also showed that budgets were increasing as marketing departments battle for supremacy in the digital world. Budgets increased by 10% in 2015 whilst 61% of respondents said that they expected to spend even more next year.
10% of marketers say they have moved beyond digital marketing techniques and are expanding marketing’s role to create new digitally led business models whilst digital commerce is also rising, capturing 11% of the digital marketing budget.
However Sorofman warns that although virtually all marketers acknowledged the shift there were many struggling with the change.
The principles of storytelling, measurement and planning still apply – but the new notion is not ‘plans’ as a noun but as a verb, and a much more continuous process continually measuring effectiveness and making adjustments
“Although 98% say digital and traditional marketing are merging, two thirds are still executing digital marketing as a discreet discipline, although we expect that to change over the coming years,” he says. The delay is to be expected to a degree, he adds: “It’s largely the expected inertia you find in any large organisation that has its own legacy overheads with regards to culture skills and process.”
Speeding up the change relies on the drive coming from the CMO, says Sorofman. “We are seeing CMOs that are becoming change agents and instigating this change internally and championing this change. They often do this with the assistance of a chief marketing technologist. The CMO is relying very heavily on the chief marketing technologist to assist in this transformation but it’s the CMO who needs to own this vision,” says Sorofman.
Driving the vision is about attaching marketing activities to business value – in other words, tying marketing investments to measureable outcomes. “It’s about moving from activity metrics to business metrics – that’s how the CMO gets the seat at the board table,” says Sorofman.
But traditional marketing techniques shouldn’t be abandoned entirely. “The principles of storytelling, measurement and planning still apply,” says Sorofman. The only difference is a more immediate response. “Plans used to be made months in advance but the new notion is not plans as a noun but as a verb and a much more continuous process where you are continually measuring effectiveness and making adjustments. All the general principles of marketing still apply – they have not changed in a digital world – but the techniques have changed quite dramatically,” he says.
Marketing in today’s digital world is about the customer entirely, he says. “It all goes back to customer experience and the changing expectation of the connected customer. If you are not defining your marketing strategy from the perspective of how your customers want and expect to be engaged then you are putting your brand at risk,” he adds.
Source – MarketingTechNews.com