More than one-third (37%) of digital marketing executives say that increasing brand awareness and brand health is their top goal for their digital marketing strategy, while one-quarter (26%) say their primary goal is to increase the number of new leads. So, what initiatives are digital marketers prioritizing in the next year in order to achieve these goals? Here’s what a global survey [download page] of 500 senior digital marketing executives, produced by Altimeter, a Prophet Company, found.
About half (51%) of respondents say that they are prioritizing the use of more data to create the customized content that serves the customer journey. Research has shown that mapping out the customer journey is one important factor that sets some customer experience professionals apart. The same can be applied to marketing broadly – and nearly two-thirds (62%) of the digital marketing executives surveyed say they have fully mapped the digital customer journey across all touchpoints.
Respondents also appear to be well on their way to creating customized content across channels, with 3 in 5 (62% share) saying they have created a content customization framework that is being used on all digital channels. Another 31% share say they have created such a framework but that it’s only currently being used on one or two channels.
Meanwhile, half of respondents also say they are prioritizing the investment in technology that enables real-time delivery of personalization of data. More than half (53%) of respondents report already using machine learning and AI for content personalization and product recommendations. Additionally, the survey found that 8 in 10 marketers are already using or beginning to use real-time personalization on their channels such as websites, mobile apps, social media and email.
Hiring For the Right Skills
There’s been a lot said about the importance of hiring individuals with analytics skills and the importance of these skills to maintain the future of businesses. In fact, many marketers believe that data analysis and measurement skills are the most important skills to have for the future.
These latest survey results fell along similar lines. More than half (55%) of the respondents indicated that one of their top challenges is hiring for the right skills. And the three most desired skills they’re looking for in the next year are data analysis (41%), marketing automation expertise (38%) and user experience design (36%).
That being said, some 48% of respondents also say that one of their top priorities in the next 12 months is to hire more creative skills to scale content in new interactive formats.
Integration Is Also Key
Another top priority for about 4 in 10 (41%) digital marketing executives in the next year is integrating their multiple software systems to share customer data. Three in 10 (31% share) of respondents also named integration as their biggest challenge in effectively using marketing technology.
Along those lines, when considering a marketing automation integration strategy, research has found that beyond cost marketers consider factors such as ease of use, analytics and all-in-one solutions.
To read more, the full report can be downloaded here.
About the Data: The report is based on a survey of 500 senior digital marketing executives and practitioners in companies with at least 1,000 employees, across three geographies, North America (US and Canada,) Europe (the UK, France and Germany) and China. Additionally, we made sure to include a fixed quota of respondents from five industry verticals: banking/finance, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and technology.