27 August 2014

The vast majority of telecom companies (73%) say their marketing activities are integrated to some extent, with only 5% saying that there’s very little or no integration, according to research published today.

The Digital Marketing in the Telecom Sector report, produced by Econsultancy in partnership with Adobe, found that around two in five telecom companies (37%) take an integrated approach to all marketing, compared to only 12% of companies across the business community as a whole. A further 36% of respondents say ‘most’ of their marketing is integrated.

The research, based on a global survey of more than 200 marketers and internet professionals in the telecom industry, explores how telecom companies approach digital marketing, as well as the key trends, opportunities and sector-specific issues shaping their digital strategies.

More than a third of organizations surveyed report that disconnected technology platforms (39%) represent a significant barrier to integrated marketing, slightly ahead of organizational structure (38%) and lack of a single customer view (35%).

Additionally, only half of respondents believe they ‘have the technology they need to succeed’. While they are more than twice as likely as their peers in other sectors to report this (50% versus 24%), it’s still a worryingly low proportion, according to the report.

The telecom sector is not immune to the skills gap facing many organizations, with two in five (44%) saying the ability to utilize technology to its full extent is a key challenge, while another 31% see it as an issue.

This is consistent with the Digital Distress research Adobe released last year which found that two-thirds (66%) of marketers feel digital is critical to their company’s success, but less than half feel highly proficient in digital marketing and only 9% feel they know their marketing is working.

Commenting on the findings of the Digital Marketing in the Telecom Sector report, Econsultancy Research Director Linus Gregoriadis said: “The research shows that companies in this sector are really committed to digital investment and transformation, as well as embracing trends such as ‘big data’. Like companies in other verticals, organizations are facing challenges around their technological infrastructure and effective utilization of tools once they are in place.”

Garrett Ilg Vice President, Global Enterprise Sales & Field Operations at Adobe, said: “This report validates Adobe’s experience working with leading telecom companies around the world on their digital transformation agenda as well as on their digital maturity journey.

“While technology is a key building block for digital success, it is by no means a panacea. More than ever, organisations need the right mix of skills within their marketing teams to get the most out of their technology and data, while ensuring they are sharing a compelling brand story that is delivered consistently across the many marketing channels.”

The research also found that:

-) Digital marketing is a strategic priority for the telecom sector, with an average of 46% of total marketing budgets being assigned to digital. This is significantly higher than the average of 38% for companies across all sectors, as found in separate Econsultancy research.

-) Telecom companies are also more likely than other industries to be increasing digital spend over the next 12 months (84% compared to 70%).

-) An overwhelming 84% of respondents said they are planning to increase their technology budgets for the next 12 months, compared to only 2% who are planning to decrease budgets.

-) Telecom marketers are twice as likely as other companies to view big data as an exciting opportunity for the next 12 months. Customer experience and mobile are close contenders for the top spot.

-) Despite the large investment in mobile (nearly 80% say mobile spend is greater than $1.5 million), almost a third (30%) of companies operate with mobile marketing as a separate team. A similar proportion indicate that mobile is fully integrated.

Get this report:

The full report is available on the Econsultancy website here:

The report is available to Econsultancy subscribers, or on a pay-per-view basis.

For more information about this report, contact:
Linus Gregoriadis, Research Director, Econsultancy
linus.gregoriadis AT econsultancy.com

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Published on: 12:03PM on 27th August 2014