A new year means a brand new start, but it’s also a good chance to take stock of everything we’ve learned during the previous 12 months.
With this in mind, here’s a look back at some of Econsultancy’s research, with 10 of the most important stats from our 2016 reports.
Agencies predict low growth rates for 2017
The Digital Agency Rate Card Survey 2016 revealed that predicted year-on-year growth in the UK has reached an all-time low.
From an online survey of 398 UK digital agencies, it found that the proportion of agencies expecting their businesses to grow by over 50% has more than halved in the last two years, going from 24% in 2014 to 11% in 2016.
Meanwhile, agencies predicted that their daily rates will grow by an average of just 2% this year.
Disparity between customer needs and marketer capabilities
Our Customer Recognition Report highlighted how marketers are falling short on customer experience management due to a lack of digital capabilities.
While up to 84% of marketers cite identifying users, personalizing messaging and measuring impact as “very important to growth,” only 10%-14% are able to deliver in these areas.
60% of marketers lack a cooperative culture
In the Trends and Priorities in the Media and Entertainment Sector report, the biggest barriers for digital transformation were found to be organisational factors.
59% of marketers said they lack a cooperative culture, while 49% said management is against investing in data and tech, and 46% said that boards fail to understand digital strategy.
Companies to increase CRO budgets this year
In October, our Conversion Rate Optimization report was released, looking at the strategies companies are using to improve conversion rates.
With 52% of companies seeing a significant increase in sales from adopting a structured approach to data, research also found that over half of companies plan to increase their CRO budgets this year.
This appears to be an effective strategy, with 73% of those who have already increased their budget seeing a marked improvement.
84% of influencer research is carried out manually
At the beginning of 2016, Econsultancy published the Rise of Influencers report in association with Fashion & Beauty Monitor.
Exploring the role influencers play in the fashion and beauty industries, it found that there are some big challenges for brands navigating this new marketing realm.
According to the survey, finding the right influencer is one of the biggest tests, with 84% of research being carried out by manually searching platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
74% of agencies are working with celebrities
The Future of Celebrity Marketing report further reflected the growing demand for both social media stars and high profile personalities.
While 74% of agency respondents said that they are already working with celebrities, a further 12% said that they aim to embark on a celebrity endorsement within the next year.
35% of organisations believe technology is key to understanding customers
At every level of maturity, organisations agree that having the right technologies for data collection and analysis is key to understanding customers.
This statistic comes from the Secrets of Elite Analytics Practices report, which also found that the more advanced the analytics capabilities, the more adept companies are at sharing knowledge between teams.
48% of organisations do not have a mobile strategy
Despite the fact most organisations agree that mobile deserves a strategic approach, last year’s Digital Intelligence Briefing found that nearly half are failing to put this into practice.
The report explained how even the 20% that do have a well-defined mobile strategy are not making the most of customer analysis, proving the untapped potential of data.
Email rated top for ROI
2016 marked the 10th anniversary of Econsultancy’s Email Marketing Industry Census.
In an online survey of 1,150 marketers in February and March, 73% of respondents ranked email marketing as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ for ROI.
Increasing from 66% in 2015, this meant that email marketing was ranked 9% higher than SEO (organic search).
B2B marketers lack confidence in CX
Last May saw the release of the Tension in B2B Customer Experience Management report, highlighting how B2B organizations are improving the customer experience.
Surprisingly, despite B2B companies realizing that they’re being evaluated on the same level as consumer brands, just 16% believe customers rate their CX on a par with B2C.
Internal silos and a lack of long-term strategy were reported to be just two of the reasons why.