Quick Takes | Rx for Digital Anxiety – Marketers

Dissed by Digital?   Join the Crowd!

Marketing Tech Landscape 2014
Marketing Tech Landscape 2014

Digital Deployment Will Accelerate in 2014,
Anxious Marketers Report They Aren’t
Keeping Up

In January of 2013, Gartner predicted that by 2017 CMO’s will have a bigger IT budget than CIOs.  Whether that comes to pass or not, Forrester analyst, Sheryl Pattek told Forbes magazine she sees a need to convince CMOs that they “must accept that it’s no longer possible to run the business of marketing without technology.”
Get the Marketing Tech Landscape PDF here

Convince CMOs?  Really?

Well, for starters, industry experts and surveys predict double digit increases in digital spending by CMOs in 2014:

  • Winterberry Group expects total U.S. digital ad spend in 2014 to reach $50.6B, up 14% over 2013.
  • A 2013 Marketing Trends Survey by Strong View found the majority of 400 businesses responding planned big digital budget boosts in 2014
    • 52% will increase email marketing
    • 41% will increase search
    • 46% will increase social media

While Marketers perceive the enormous opportunity in digital marketing, most lack confidence in their own digital skills and the effectiveness of their digital marketing campaigns, as evidenced in a recent study by Adobe.

Findings: Few Marketers Feel Proficient in Digital, Even Fewer Find Company Proficient

The widely reported Digital Distress: What Keeps Marketers Up at Night, a 2013 Adobe study of marketing decision makers, digital marketers, marketing staff and marketing generalists found only 39% say that they are highly proficient in digital marketing.  Less than half of the digital marketers surveyed feel they are highly proficient.

Digital Proficiency

This lack of confidence in personal digital proficiency is compounded by doubts about their company’s and marketing team’s digital proficiency.  Only a third of the marketers surveyed think their companies are highly proficient in digital marketing, and only 40% say their marketing colleagues / team are highly proficient.

These views may explain why most (61%) saw their company’s digital marketing approaches as a constant cycle of trial and error.  Only 9% of respondents strongly agreed with the statement “I know our digital marketing is working.”

Download a copy of the Adobe study here

An Rx for Digital Anxiety

Wifi, and mobile device driven lifestyles have undeniably created a marketing workplace suffused with digital technology affecting every aspect of attempts to engage prospects and customers, from planning to results reporting.  Tech change seems the constant, affecting three areas:

  • how we work,
  • who we work with,
  • what marketing looks like

Most recently, online display advertising faces disruption by real-time bidding and brokers, and email and CRM are being transformed by marketing automation platforms.

A prescription for dealing with our digital anxieties includes:

  • Relax – we’re not the only ones struggling to keep up and/or worrying that we’re not – the study proves that
  • Realize that most digital marketer gurus don’t have formal digital training, 82% reported learning on the job – a classic DIY approach
  • Commit to educating yourself – learn at conferences, webinars, workshops and online programs, including many free course offerings from Google.   If you’re on a restricted budget try MOOCs, community college digital offerings, and your local Continuing Ed
  • Participate in knowledge networks – a tremendous amount can be learned from industry association and marketing publications, thought leader bloggers and the peer discussions on their sites.  Some personal favorites include Marketing Profs, Hubspot, Marketing Sherpa, Marketing Experiments and the Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG) which all have excellent free content to get you up to speed
  • Mine resources on-hand – if you work with agencies in the digital space, collaborate with them on educating you and your staff with periodic workshops and briefings, including the latest developments,  a deep dive on metrics and who’s winning in your industry and how


Forbes.com; “Digital Marketing Battlefield Map: CMO vs. CIO and Gartner vs. Forrester”, Jul.10, 2013 http://onforb.es/1nqrfzz

Marketing Forecast.com; “Email, Social and Search to Lead Digital Marketing Growth in 2014”; Jan.6, 2014, http://bit.ly/1locoqR

MarketingCharts.com; “2014 Marketing Budget Plans, by Channel”, Dec. 30, 2013, http://bit.ly/1locr5L

Direct Marketing News,”Outlook 2014: Marketing Spending to Rise”, Jan. 10,2014, http://bit.ly/1lofFWU