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7 Digital Marketing Discoveries from Gartner (and 7 Lessons to Learn)

gartner research ecommerce digital marketing


*sniffle*  Digital marketing is all grown up.  We remember when digital marketing was taking its first steps, and now look at it!  At least we still have the baby pictures.

A new report from Gartner, “CMO Spend Survey 2015-2016: Digital Marketing Comes of Age”  examines the maturation of digital marketing.  This new study takes a look at the current environment for digital marketing, eCommerce, and their intersection with the physical retail space

In this blog post, we go over 7 discoveries from Gartner’s study, and we offer lessons for your e-business based on each digital marketing factoid.

  1. Almost 2/3rds of marketers say their marketing budgets will increase in 2016.

Lesson 1:  As more companies invest in the digital space, the competition grows even more cutthroat.  (No more diapers and plastic toys for digital marketing.)  Every marketing resource should be stretched as far as it will go, so leverage digital techniques with great ROI such as content marketing and SEO.

  1. 98% of marketers say that offline and online marketing are merging as more customers opt for digital experiences.

Lesson 2:  We live in a multichannel world.  As customers receive messages from both offline and online channels, they now expect a seamless experience as they move from in-store to online.  This includes mobile as well.

  1. Digital commerce now makes up 11% of the digital marketing budget.

Lesson 3:  eCommerce is where more and more customers choose to make purchases.  If you want to gain the most out of your digital marketing, integrate your eCommerce with your online marketing solution and CRM to share insights and customer data across systems.

  1. Marketing analytics, digital commerce, social, and customer experience were the top-ranked areas of investment for marketing technology in 2015.

Lesson 4:  Marketing analytics gives you the insights that let you know which marketing campaigns work and which don’t.  Many companies invest in these four core areas, but how many use marketing analytics to actually improve the other three?  Don’t silo each area.  Integration unlocks the true potential of these technologies.  (That’s why we offer an All-In-One solution.)

  1. Executives expect more of marketers with an emphasis on eCommerce, lead conversion, strategic planning, and innovation.

Lesson 5:  As executives raise their expectations for marketing activities, marketers need to provide the metrics that executives find important.  This means using technology to track your key performance indicators (KPIs), so you know how your marketing helps you reach your objectives.

  1. Marketers say that customer experience is still the new competitive battlefield. (But it lacks a clear mandate.)

Lesson 6:  Optimize the customer experience across all channels.  As more business and sales move online, products and prices are phasing out as the primary means for gaining a competitive edge.  Instead, customers want a great customer experience… and they’re willing to pay for it.

  1. Marketers spend 1/3rd of their expense budget on technology.

Lesson 7: Technology is important for digital marketing success, and 1/3rd of your expense budget is not insignificant.  But if you want to get the most out of your technology, you also have to pay attention to the team that helps you implement this technology.  Know the team behind the tech.  Get references.  Without a vendor that stands behind their product, all your tech spending would be for naught.