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Less Than One-Quarter of Organizations Employ Optimal Digital Marketing Strategies, TEKsystems Survey Finds

For media inquiries, please contact us at media@TEKsystems.com.


Advanced Social Media, Digital Advertising and Mobile Marketing Initiatives Characteristics of Fully Mature Organizations 

TEKsystems®, a leading provider of IT staffing solutions and IT services, today highlighted study findings that explore the current state of digital marketing initiatives within organizations. More than 250 senior marketing executives were polled in January 2017 on their expectations for spending, skill needs and organizational challenges in 2017. Data was examined on five subsets based on how organizations self-identified the maturity of their digital marketing efforts.

Key highlights from the survey include:

Less than One-Quarter of Marketing Organizations Realize Full Digital Maturity; Optimized Organizations Enjoy Greater Budget Growth and Autonomy

Q: Which of the following best describes the status of your organization’s digital marketing strategy?

Responses

Optimized – we have fully optimized our digital marketing strategy to provide the best possible customer/user experience

23%

Integrated – we have developed a digital marketing strategy that is integrated into our overall marketing strategy

49%

Informed – we have experience with digital marketing approaches but are still formulating a strategy

18%

Ad hoc – we understand the potential of digital marketing and are experimenting with different technologies and approaches

10%

Q: How has your organization’s total marketing budget changed from 2016 to 2017?

 

Ad Hoc

Informed

Integrated

Optimized

Increase

56%

83%

84%

82%

Stay the same

36%

13%

12%

18%

Decrease

8%

4%

4%

0%

Q: What percent of your organization’s total 2017 marketing budget is allocated to digital marketing?

Ad Hoc

Informed

Integrated

Optimized

31%

35%

36%

48%

Q: Which department is primarily responsible for marketing technology acquisition at your organization?

Department

Ad Hoc

Informed

Integrated

Optimized

Marketing

64%

65%

75%

82%

IT

28%

15%

17%

7%

Operations

8%

13%

6%

7%

Other

0%

7%

2%

4%

  • TEKsystems’ Take: Less than one-quarter of organizations (23 percent) are experiencing the benefits of fully optimized digital marketing programs. When comparing respondents who identify their digital marketing programs as optimized to other groups, they tend to experience higher levels of overall budget growth without any decline, devote a higher percentage of their overall marketing budget to digital efforts and maintain greater control of their marketing technology investments.
Social Media, Digital Advertising and Mobile Marketing Stand Out as Hallmarks of Organizations With Optimized Digital Marketing Programs

Q: What are your organization’s top strategic digital priorities for 2017? Stack rank the top three.

Ranking

Ad Hoc

Informed

Integrated

Optimized

1

Digital Advertising (56%)

Social Marketing (48%)

Social Marketing (48%)

Digital Advertising (54%)

2

Social Marketing (40%)

Company Website Design (46%)

Digital Advertising (48%)

Social Marketing (40%)

3

Company Website Design (40%)

Content Development (39%)

Content Development (35%)

Company Website Design (39%)

4

Email Marketing (40%)

Digital Advertising (39%)

Email Marketing (34%)

Content Development (35%)

5

Content development (28%)

Email Marketing (30%)

Company Website Design (32%)

Mobile Marketing (32%)

Q: On which digital marketing approaches will your organization focus the most time and resources? Stack rank top three.

Ranking

Ad Hoc

Informed

Integrated

Optimized

1

Social Media (72%)

Social Media (76%)

Social Media (74%)

Social Media (62%)

2

Video (48%)

Video (52%)

Mobile (52%)

Mobile (53%)

3

Native Advertising (44%)

Paid Search (46%)

Paid Search (50%)

Paid Search (51%)

4

Paid Search (40%)

Native Advertising (41%)

Video (45%)

Programmatic* (51%)

5

Programmatic* (40%)

Mobile (39%)

Programmatic* (40%)

Native Advertising (44%)

*The algorithmic purchase and sale of advertising space in real time. During this process, software is used to automate the buying, placement, and optimisation of media inventory via a bidding system.

Q: What are your organization’s top technology investment areas for 2017? Stack rank the top three.

Ranking

Ad Hoc

Informed

Integrated

Optimized

1

Website (36%)

Website (43%)

Website (43%)

Website (35%)

2

Content Management (36%)

Content Management (43%)

Content Management (34%)

Customer Experience (35%)

3

Advertising Operations (32%)

Marketing Operations (33%)

Customer Experience (33%)

Marketing Operations (35%)

4

Customer Experience (32%)

Social Publishing/Listening Tools (33%)

Marketing Analytics (31%)

Mobile Marketing (32%)

5

Advertising Operations (32%)

Customer Experience (30%)

Mobile Marketing (29%)

Emerging Technologies (28%)

  • TEKsystems’ Take: While there are commonalities across all marketing organizations—such as social media being the most time/resource intensive area and website being the top investment area—differences do emerge as organizations grow in their digital marketing maturity. As organizations mature towards optimization, they tend to expand attention and investment beyond rich, site-based, non-invasive aspects (i.e., content development, video development) to also focus on more outwardly focused and trackable efforts (i.e., digital advertising, social media, mobility). This “tailored” mindset also helps explain why customer experience emerges as one of the top investment areas for optimized organizations—as they seek greater understanding on personalization and customer journey elements during interaction with their customers. Optimized organizations are also able to invest in more cutting-edge areas, such as programmatic advertising and emerging technologies (e.g., VR, augmented reality, predictive analytics).
Budget Overruns and ROI Less of a Challenge for Digitally Optimized Marketing Organizations; Digitally Mature Organizations Shift Focus to More Advanced Concepts

Q: What are your marketing organization’s most significant challenges for meeting goals and objectives in 2017? Stack rank top three.

Ranking

Ad Hoc

Informed

Integrated

Optimized

1

Budget Overruns (52%)

Budget Overruns (52%)

Budget Overruns (63%)

Budget Overruns (47%)

2

Organizational Alignment (32%)

Organizational Alignment (48%)

Value Measurements / ROI (44%)

Scope and Architecture (40%)

3

Value Measurements / ROI (32%)

Value Measurements / ROI (41%)

Organizational Alignment (42%)

Organizational Alignment (39%)

4

Scope and Architecture (28%)

Internal Talent (28%)

Internal Talent (31%)

External Partnerships (35%)

5

Internal Talent (24%)

External Partnerships (28%)

Scope and Architecture (30%)

Value Measurements / ROI (35%)

Q: Which of the following digital marketing trends do you expect to be the most challenging to respond to in 2017? Stack rank top three.

Ranking

Ad Hoc

Informed

Integrated

Optimized

1

Customer Content Development (24%)

UX / Customer Journey Analytics (39%)

Multi-channel / Cross-platform Marketing (30%)

UX / Customer Journey Analytics (32%)

2

Predictive Analytics (24%)

Multi-channel / Cross-platform Marketing (37%)

Custom Content Development (30%)

Multi-channel / Cross-platform Marketing (25%)

3

Website Personalization (24%)

Video / Motion Graphics (28%)

Predictive Analytics (30%)

Predictive Analytics (25%)

4

Programmatic (20%)

"Mobile First" Approach (24%)

UX / Customer Journey Analytics (29%)

Conversion Rate Optimization (23%)

5

Multi-channel / Cross-platform Marketing (20%)

Programmatic (24%)

Mobile Analytics (21%)

Custom Content Development (21%)

  • TEKsystems’ Take: While still a source of concern, those who report that their digital marketing programs are optimized are the only group where less than 50 percent cite budget overruns as a concern, perhaps due to their ability to provide verifiable ROI and the resulting ability to dedicate resources appropriately. Additionally, this is the only group where more than 40 percent indicate scope and architecture as a significant challenge, reinforcing their role as an independent purchaser of technology. Optimized respondents also seem to be more focused on operationalizing their digital marketing efforts with a focus on the more advanced concepts of user experience, omnichannel marketing, conversion rates and analytics.

“What we’re seeing here are clear differences between organizations at different points along the digital maturation curve. Those with optimized digital marketing strategies also show much greater ownership of technology and spend within the marketing function and a more advanced approach to digital marketing” says Steve Aleckson, director of TEKsystems Digital. “Less digitally mature organizations are clearly most challenged with untangling responsibility for customer engagement between marketing, core IT and other stakeholders regarding budget, technology and talent. This makes it harder for less mature organizations to connect with customers effectively, and the gap between them and leading-edge marketers will only get bigger.”  Said Aleckson, "The competition for talent remains a top struggle, and organizations with a clearer strategy and digital roadmap have the advantage in workforce planning—but marketing leaders have to make a strong business case in order to move the needle towards an optimized strategy.”

TEKsystems will be exhibiting at Adobe Summit 2017 (booth No. 848), March 21–23, at the Venetian and Palazzo resorts in Las Vegas.

TEKsystems’ Steve Aleckson is available for additional commentary. For more information about the survey, or to schedule an interview, please contact Nathan Bowen at nabowen@TEKsystems.com.

About TEKsystems

People are at the heart of every successful business initiative. At TEKsystems, an Allegis Group company, we understand people. Every year we deploy more than 80,000 IT professionals at 6,000 client sites across North America, Europe and Asia. Our deep insights into IT human capital management enable us to help our clients achieve their business goals–while optimizing their IT workforce strategies. We provide IT staffing solutions and IT services to help our clients plan, build and run their critical business initiatives. Through our range of quality-focused delivery models, we meet our clients where they are, and take them where they want to go, the way they want to get there.