CMOs Keen On Digital Spends; Unsure Of Execution

by CXOtoday News Desk    Apr 24, 2015


Marketers aren’t sure what they’re doing exactly when it comes to digital marketing. Despite their ambiguity, CMOs are not stopping their spends in digital marketing, according to a new report from Forrester Research that shows nearly half of marketers plan to boost their investments in digital channels this year.

The survey found that, despite the higher investments, 43 percent senior marketing executives said they are still experimenting with digital marketing and do not yet know what works. 

Almost half of the survey’s respondents said “securing incremental budget for marketing experimentation and innovation” is a key challenge in creating a budget. While nearly all of the survey’s respondents agreed that digital will play a significantly more important role in their marketing strategy, the study’s findings suggest that it’s the execution of the digital strategy where companies falter.

Roughly half plan to increase digital marketing, compared with 12 percent who intend to increase traditional ad spending. While last year traditional marketing had five percentage points more than digital in its share of budget, “this year found a three-way tie among traditional marketing, consumer response/direct marketing, and digital marketing.” Search, display and email take up almost 60 percent of the digital budget, while mobile and social account for about 30 percent. And the marketers say mobile and social are their highest priorities this year.

Read More: CMOs Need To Go Digital Or Go Bust!

Good news is, the survey found that senior management is finally catching on to the digital focus, with 70 percent of respondents saying executives are involved in digital strategy, and committed to investing in it.

But even then, most respondents say they still don’t know what works best. And while two-thirds rate their company as “effective,” less than half think they are extremely successful, or even have clearly developed key performance indicators.

Forrester analysts recommend perhaps it’s time to focus less on what they spend and more on what they need to learn. “B2C marketing leaders mustn’t allow the latest gadget-du-jour to distract them from developing an adequate level of mastery of digital programs that have become essential to their marketing mix. “Rather than single-mindedly chasing new opportunities, the time has come to build a stronger foundation of core digital marketing disciplines,” the report concludes.