How has marketing changed? In what ways does it still need to change?

Although there are many answers to these common questions, with huge topics such as social, content, mobile and data coming into play, the one thing that remains abundantly clear is that the customer is now in charge.

Building a customer first approach should be the main priority in all business strategies, particularly as we begin to understand the power of data and how it can help us create deeper, more meaningful and accurate customer engagement.

But how have these customer-empowered channels reshaped marketing budgets? How has the use of digital marketing channels caused the marketing landscape to evolve? How have marketers leveraged their technology investments to build stronger customer relationships?

We asked these questions and more to 402 senior marketers from global enterprises for our new Enterprise Priorities in Digital Marketing report in association with Teradata.

This research has the goal of providing guidance for the future through specific benchmarks from digital marketing leaders from various global organisations, focusing on the technology priorities, the strategies they support and the marketing budgets with which they’re aligned.

Here are some of the key findings…

An unprecedented demand for technology

The customer relationship is the single path to sustainable growth and reliable retention. Improving this customer relationship can be achieved through understanding the customer and their context. 

Whatever location they’re in, at whatever time and how far down the sales funnel they may be, marketing data is the key way to accurately target the customer.

This has driven a huge need for technology in every industry to help them understand, capture and manage data.

These are the plans for future technology investment...

Marketing attribution systems, marketing clouds and audience management systems are the top three near-term priorities. All technologies designed to determine, manage and influence the customer journey on multiple channels.

Experience plays a larger role than data when it comes to budget decisions

Although a data-driven model is being pursued by enterprise companies, past experience plays a huge factor in influencing budgets. 

As we have discussed already, decisions on budget allocation should be driven by data. However as budgets are handed down from year to year, from manager to manager, it’s difficult to make radical ‘overnight’ changes. Instead budgets adapt and change incrementally. 

Unfortunately as marketing conditions continue to change rapidly, the non-dynamic businesses with unsupportive budgets will not succeed. A transformative approach to budgeting is key. 

The upward trend for marketing and advertising will continue into 2015

Here we can see the change in digital and traditional budgets between 2014 and 2015…

The emphasis is heavily on digital here. Nearly 70% of respondent organisations anticipate an increase beyond inflation and only 6% foresee a decrease. Offline will see more mixed results, as nearly 30% predict a decrease in budget by an average of 10%.

Many companies expect their digital investment to reach 50% by 2019, although the average figure is expected to be roughly 40%.

For more insight, download the full 30 page report: Enterprise Priorities in Digital Marketing.

Christopher Ratcliff

Published 1 October, 2014 by Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff is the editor of Methods Unsound. He was the Deputy Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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