SALT LAKE CITY—Although 40 percent of marketers claim they want to “reinvent” themselves, only 14 percent of those marketers said they actually know how to go about it, according to a recent report commissioned by Adobe.
The study, Digital Roadblock: Marketers Struggle to Reinvent Themselves, is based on a survey of more than 1,000 marketing professionals in the United States and exposes new insights into the attitudes and beliefs of marketers as they work to redefine their roles and expand their skills. Adobe released the findings here this week at its Adobe Summit 2014 digital marketing conference, where the theme was “reinventing marketing“.
Indeed, 64 percent of marketers said they expect their role to change in the next year, and 81 percent said they believe their role will change in the next three years, according to the study. But the path to reinvention remains a challenge. Respondents cited the lack of training in new marketing skills (30 percent) and organizational inability to adapt (30 percent) among the top obstacles to becoming the marketers they aspire to be.
Asked to describe the ideal, successful marketer 12 months from now, 50 percent of marketers said they should take more risks, and 45 percent hope to take more risks themselves. On the topic of new technologies, marketers are generally playing it safe, with 65 percent saying they are more comfortable adopting new technologies once they become mainstream.
Speaking at a keynote at the Adobe Summit, actor Robert Redford said, “Not taking a risk is a risk.”
The findings also highlighted a gap between marketers in companies that spend more than 25 percent of their marketing budgets on digital campaigns, compared with those that spend less than 10 percent on digital. Marketers in high digital-spend companies are more likely to believe (82 percent) they need to reinvent themselves to succeed, versus low digital-spend companies (67 percent). Marketers from high-performing companies are three times more likely (23 percent) to say they know how to reinvent themselves than low performers (8 percent).
“The shift to digital requires new technology, new approaches and, in many cases, entirely new roles for marketers,” Ann Lewnes, chief marketing officer for Adobe, said in a statement. “The good news is that marketers see the change in front of them, and understand they need to embrace data, focus on creating personalized experiences and work across their social, Web and mobile channels. They just need to take the plunge.”
Meanwhile, marketers also said they see data as important but that it is not always used to the fullest. More than three-quarters of marketers (76 percent) said they need to be more data-focused to succeed, but 49 percent report “trusting my gut” to guide decisions on where to invest their marketing budgets. Seventy-two percent of marketers said they believe their long-term success is tied to proving marketing return on investment.
Adobe Study Finds Digital Marketing Shines on Mobile, Social, Big Data
Moreover, 74 percent of marketers said capturing and applying data to inform and drive marketing activities is the new reality, and 69 said they need to embrace “hyper personalization” or using data to provide the right products, services and content at the right time. Yet only 39 percent of marketers report using consumer data and behavior patterns to shape marketing strategy in the past 12 months. However, 45 percent said they plan to use more consumer data and behavior in the next 12 months.
Meanwhile, according to the study, marketers see mobile and social as bigger priorities. Sixty-nine percent of marketers surveyed said they believe mobile is a critical element to get right. In terms of media types and platforms, 61 percent of marketers said they see social media as the most critical area of focus 12 months from now, followed closely by mobile at 51 percent. Print and TV were at the bottom of the list, at 9 percent and 7 percent, respectively.
Sixty-three percent of marketers said they were doing more social marketing compared with last year, and more than half said they were doing more direct customer engagement via email (51 percent) and digital analytics (51 percent) than they were in 2013.
These priorities are driving a shift to more investment in digital talent within marketing organizations. Marketers cited digital/social marketer (47 percent), data analyst (38 percent), creative services (38 percent) and mobile marketer (36 percent) as key roles companies need to invest in over the next 12 months.
In addition, the survey indicated that marketers believe the ability to work better across different channels will make the biggest single difference in their effectiveness. Twenty-one percent of marketers said this would make the biggest difference, followed by 16 percent who listed the ability to measure and learn from campaign effectiveness as most important.
Also, when asked to prioritize one capability that will be most important to their company’s marketing moving forward, personalization ranked highest. Sixty-three percent of high-performing companies said that they are focused or very focused on personalizing experiences for customers, compared with 53 percent of average- or low-performing companies, the study showed.
Adobe commissioned the study, which was produced by research firm Edelman Berland and conducted as an online survey among 1,004 U.S. marketers. Data was collected between Feb. 19 and 27 by ResearchNow.
In other news from Adobe Summit, the company announced a major new release of Adobe Experience Manager, its Web experience management solution that includes innovations for simplification of Website re-platforming, dynamic asset delivery and mobile app development.
Responding to the research from the Digital Roadblock: Marketers Struggle to Reinvent Themselves study, Adobe is providing a more expedient development process for both Web and mobile app marketing.
“Digital experiences have extended well beyond the PC to tablets, mobile devices, social channels, digital glass and even wearables,” Aseem Chandra, vice president of Adobe Experience Manager and Adobe Target, said in a statement. “Whether searching a mobile site, diving into a favorite tablet app, or participating in an online community, consumers expect brands to provide a consistent, personal experience every time. Adobe Experience Manager, as part of the industry’s most complete set of marketing solutions, is uniquely positioned to continue defining the future and helping marketers succeed every step of the way.”
Adobe Study Finds Digital Marketing Shines on Mobile, Social, Big Data
The new release of Adobe Experience Manager features a touch-enabled interface, simplifies the launch of Web and mobile sites, and offers a new template approach that is designed to help reduce project time by up to 50 percent. New dashboards give marketers greater insight into the most effective content on online properties, while support for automated translation helps reach global audiences faster. Through integrations with leading commerce engines, Experience Manager provides organizations the flexibility to build rich experiences that lead to purchases on their commerce platform of choice.
In addition, dynamic, interactive media experiences, including video, can now be authored and delivered across devices. New video features now include the ability to add annotations and measure engagement. New workflows help streamline tasks such as photo shoots for campaign launches. Experience Manager Assets provides deeper integration with Adobe Creative Cloud, enabling Adobe’s digital media tools to store, sync and share assets with Adobe Marketing Cloud. Marketers can then use assets across Adobe’s digital marketing solutions, including Adobe Target, Adobe Campaign and Adobe Social, supporting the delivery of a consistent brand experience across all channels.
And combined with Adobe’s new PhoneGap Enterprise, Experience Manager provides a mobile app development platform for both developers and marketers. Developers can quickly build cross-platform apps, such as for retail and financial services. Marketers can then use Experience Manager’s drag-and-drop interface to edit and add to apps, as well as push content updates from the Web to apps. Marketers can also analyze app performance in real time through new, built-in integration with Adobe Analytics.
“A top priority for us is offering customers the best user experience on any device,” Chris Hansen, associate director of digital design and development for Internet sales at Verizon Wireless, said in a statement. “With advances in Adobe Experience Manager, new products can be delivered across more devices faster. We’re impressed by the new digital asset management capabilities, which offer greater flexibility and control, enable companies to manage and deliver assets more efficiently, as well as keep coordinated on the experiences being driven by multiple teams.”
Experience Manager delivers a set of capabilities designed to support online properties at scale. Organizations are now empowered to easily moderate communities and help boost engagement with sentiment analysis. New machine translation provides community members the ability to select their language of choice, and helps marketers overcome communication barriers and grow brand advocates worldwide.
“At DuPont, we are focused on solving the greatest challenges in food, energy and protection. To do this successfully, we must reach our customers around the world in a way that resonates with them and addresses the challenges they face,” said Sandra Van Wormer, digital marketing director at DuPont, in a statement. “Adobe Experience Manager helps us to fulfill our strategies by enabling digital experiences that are optimized, and that can be efficiently leveraged across languages and geographies.”
Moreover, large volumes of forms can be created, managed and made available as part of Websites, mobile sites and mobile apps, with capabilities to adapt to device types and user responses. Forms can be integrated with business processes, helping government agencies, financial services organizations and others increase efficiency and improve response times.
The capabilities of Adobe Experience Manager are built on a unified platform, offering organizations the flexibility to deploy and manage digital experiences themselves or in the cloud via Adobe’s managed services.