Gartner Research: Clear Distinction Between Offline and Online Marketing Fades

Businessman pressing virtual icons

As marketing strategies continue to evolve, new research from Gartner shows that CMOs are dropping the word “digital” from “digital marketing.” Nearly 98 percent claim that offline and online efforts are merging, highlighting less of a distinction between traditional and digital efforts than ever before.

However, two-thirds of CMOs claim that digital marketing techniques still aren’t fully incorporated into their overall marketing plan. “While it may be time to drop the moniker, marketing teams still have a long way to go,” said Simon Yates, managing vice president of the Gartner for Marketing Leaders team.

Today’s CMOs are focused on driving innovation, as 71 percent said that they dedicate about 10 percent of their marketing budgets to new innovations, such as analytics and digital marketing hubs.

A Comparison to 2014 Marketing Strategies

A survey released by Gartner at the end of 2014 showed that marketers were already gearing up to invest more in digital marketing efforts. About 51 percent of organizations claimed they were going to increase their budgets by an average of 17 percent.

At this time, experts also saw online and offline tactics begin to merge.

“The line between digital and traditional marketing continues to blur,” said Laura McLellan, research vice president at Gartner, in November 2014. “For marketers in 2014, it [was] less about digital marketing than marketing in a digital world. Hence, marketers managed a much more balanced and integrated marketing mix than in previous years, which were characterized by online and offline silos.”

In 2014, about 68 percent of companies said they had a separate budget for digital marketing efforts.

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