The Biggest Marketing Opportunities in 2015

More than ever, marketing budgets and priorities continue to become more digital. That seems to be the main takeaway from eTail’s fifth annual report.

Analysts at eTail surveyed 94 retail marketers in February and March from a number of industries, including apparel, beauty, consumer electronics, home furnishings, and music. Among the most interesting tidbits of data: search continues to dominate digital spend (43%) and revenue (38%). At a distant second in spend is email (17%). But even so, email remains a main sales driver, pulling in about a quarter of total revenue. Mobile’s impact on revenue (13%) outpaced display ads (10%) and social (5%) despite marketers spending the least on mobile.

Obviously, tech plays an indispensable role in marketing strategy. The report shows that personalization and automation—made possible by tech tools—are giving marketers even more opportunity to create relevant, timely messages.

Consider this: 20% of surveyed marketers are increasing the level of personalization in email messages. Sixteen percent are upping their use of marketing automation. Thirteen percent are replacing their email service providers. Twelve percent are revving up onsite personalization. Each move is an attempt to boost customer engagement and enhance customer experience.

In fact, marketers said they most want to personalize their content (67%), followed by discounts (51%) and time of messages (51%), and then push notifications (31%).

But in addition to the opportunities that digital provides, the survey results also highlighted some of its challenges. Surveyors asked, “What events have the highest impact on customer conversions?”

Marketers said that cart abandonment (55%) was the biggest challenge, followed by unresponsive sites (44%), Web content (42%), and website or app outages (31%).

Another growing opportunity is, of course, social media; spending is increasing even more compared to last year, when only 55% of retail marketers said they were boosting investments in social media.

This year 77% say they’re revving up their investment in social media.

This survey was conducted in partnership with Sailthru, Criteo, and Soasta.

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