Finding a New Digital Rhythm [Infographic]

Digital has been an integral part of marketers’ routine for years. But the industry is experiencing a pivot in the way companies leverage it. In 2009, for instance, 92% of marketers used digital and mobile channels for brand awareness and one quarter used them for digital sales transactions, according to the “2014 CMO Digital Benchmark Study” by the Leapfrog Marketing Institute. Today’s marketers, on the other hand, are more sales-oriented swingers; 69% of marketers polled currently use the Web for brand awareness—that’s a 25% decrease. The number of marketers using mobile for brand awareness also has dropped, to 59%. On the rise, however, is using digital channels for sales: 47% of respondents are currently using the Web for digital sales transactions, and 43% are relying on mobile to do the same.

Bigger budgets are helping marketers get in the swing of this more sales-centric focus. Half of the respondents say that their marketing budgets increased this year, and 48% saw budget increases of 10% or more. In fact, just 9% of the marketers surveyed say that their budgets decreased. And in some cases the increases are significant.

Focusing on financial results has forced many marketers to shimmy off old KPIs and concentrate on new ones. According to the report, 63% of marketers say that financial metrics such as sales and ROI are the most important outcomes, versus the 37% who say awareness and engagement metrics are the most valuable. Marketers are also having to kick their digital and mobile usage up a notch to meet these objectives. For instance, 56% of marketers say desktop websites are extremely important to achieving their marketing objectives. Data tracking and analytics (43%) and mobile (34%) were also deemed critical.

And while marketers are gliding along in some areas, they’re completely out of sync in others. Channels extremely important to marketers—including websites (56%), offline ads (27%), and call centers (25%)—are also robust: 37% of marketers view both their websites and call centers as extremely well developed and 35% say the same for their offline ads. However, not all areas are as equally mature. Although 43% of marketers consider data tracking and analytics extremely important, only 12% view it as extremely well developed, according to the study. Thirty-four percent of respondents also deemed mobile as essential, despite the fact that only 10% say this channel is well developed. The gap continued to grow with omnichannel marketing. More than one quarter (26%) of marketers say omnichannel is extremely important; however, just 4% say this area is well developed.

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