Commentary

Optimization Lacks Marketing Priority

Puzzle-B2Optimization from search to content works. Marketers know that. Now a study from Adobe Systems confirms it -- but the biggest issue points to a lack of investment and limited resources. All hold back innovation and content marketing strategies.

It turns out that those who invest more than 25% of a marketing budget toward optimization are twice as likely to see high conversion rates, yet a majority of companies surveyed spend only 5% or less of their marketing budget to optimize sites and content.

Some 86% of companies surveyed allocate 15% or less of their marketing budget to optimization activities, including the 53% who allocate less than 5%. Then there's the other half -- the 3% of respondents who allocate more than half of their marketing budget to optimization efforts.

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About 16% of those who allocate up to 25% of their marketing budget for optimization gain Web site conversion rates on average of 5% and higher, compared with 39% of those who allocate more than a quarter of their marketing budget.

The 2013 Digital Marketing Optimization Survey results show that optimization and targeting programs directly increase conversion rates. The survey of more than 1,800 responses from digital marketers worldwide shows that comprehensive optimization programs directly drive increased conversion.

Overall, percentage investments differ globally. More than half of North American companies allocate less than 5% of their marketing budgets to optimization, whereas only a fifth allocate between 6% and 10%, compared with 27% of their European counterparts. Still, North American brands are more likely to indicate high levels of conversion rates, with 10% admitting their conversion rates are 9% or above, according to the Adobe report.

There are several factors holding back investments, such as manual processes that limit testing. Then there are the limiting budgets and resources that continue to act as the biggest barrier to the lack of a testing process.  

Some 53% of survey respondents describe their testing process as manual, while 9% don't test or have not implemented a testing process.

Only 12% of those who don't have a testing process or don't run tests see average Web site conversion rates of 5% and above. Still, average conversion rates are below 1% for 59% of the companies who don't invest in testing or don't have a structured process in place.

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