As marketers look to the future, a new survey by Ascend2 finds the vast majority (89 percent) of them anticipate an incremental to significant increase in the effectiveness of digital marketing tactics to achieve important objectives.
According to the data, the most effective tactics currently being used include email (61 percent), websites (59 percent) and SEO (50 percent).
Digging deeper into the data, of the respondents who named SEO as an effective tactic, 52 percent also said their state of digital marketing was “somewhat superior” in comparison to their competitors.
The most significant barriers to digital marketing success included inadequate budget allocation (46 percent), the absence of needed skill sets in-house (40 percent) and lack of an effective strategy (35 percent).
“Successful digital marketing requires financial support, tactical proficiency and strategic efficacy. Consequently, the most significant barriers to success is a lack of these requirements,” wrote the survey authors.
Half of respondents named social media as the most difficult tactic to execute; SEO – at 45 percent – followed closely behind.
Currently, about 8 out of 10 companies (81 percent) rate their digital marketing strategy successful at achieving their important goals; 12 percent rate them very successful. Increasing lead generation was the most important goal (58 percent), followed by increasing conversion rate (48 percent) and improving brand awareness (44 percent).
Nearly 70 percent of the respondents who rated themselves successful use a combination of outsourced and in-house resources to drive digital marketing efforts. Further, of respondents who said “effectiveness is increasing significantly,” 66 percent use both in-house and outsourced resources.
Digital Marketing Spend Expected to Increase in 2016
The “2016 New Year Outlook Survey” published in January 2016 found 80 percent of marketers expected their digital marketing spend to increase “somewhat” or “significantly” over 2015 numbers.
In addition to digital efforts, the survey revealed more than half of respondents expected to increase their investment in mobile and social media marketing. About 80 percent of respondents anticipated an increase in demand for marketing analytics capabilities as well.