Commentary

Ya Gotta Get Digital Right For Effective Marketing

According to a new Millward Brown Digital study, “Getting Digital Right 2015,” digital has become a part of everyday life for most Americans. Smartphones, Tablets, Smart TVs, and Wearables are everywhere and new technology is perpetually on the horizon. Words like “multiscreen” and “programmatic” have taken over the conversation. Now marketers face the challenge of keeping abreast of all this while coming up with innovative and efficient ways to execute winning marketing strategies

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Only 14% of marketers feel their team effectively uses the consumer, media, and transaction data available to them. Even more surprising, says the report, this represents a decrease in confidence from the 2014 report.

Knowing consumers and where to reach them is essential to effective marketing. Nearly 50% of brand marketers, and over 65% of media and agency marketers ranked the ability to reach target audiences as a key factor in media budget allocation. However, only about half of media and agency marketers are confident they have an optimized media mix, while even fewer brand marketers do, only about 25%.

Brand Marketers’ Confidence In Big Data Usage Within Their Organizations

Year

2014

2015

% Confident

39%

14%

Source: Millward Brown Digital, July 2015

 

 

Prioritizing Digital Best Practices is the hallmark of a strong Marketing research program. Brands are particularly unsure about their understanding of digital best practices; only 38% said they felt confident that they were up-to-date. Media companies and agencies felt they had a better grasp, with over 60% of respondents confident in their knowledge. This indicates that brand marketers have the opportunity to lean on their partners and insights experts to help bolster gaps in digital expertise.

Consumers are embracing digital to power their personal brands, altering the nature of the relationships they build with external brands. The advent of connected devices has increased the complexity of marketing to the right consumer, with the right message, at the right touchpoint, on the right screen, at the right time. Understanding the connected consumer journey is essential to optimizing marketing.

In 2014, marketers reported the need for advancements in behavioral research tools as mainstays in their insights toolkit. For 2015, the trend shows no sign of slowing. 67% of marketers use behavioral data as an influential component of their research program, and 69% expect it to grow over the next three years.

Currently Using The Following Research Tools To Influence Marketing Decisions

Research Tool

% of Respondents Using

Consumer behavior insights

67%

Audience measurement

61%

Brand tracking

39%

Marketing mix modeling

30%

Creative testing

29%

Source: Millward Brown Digital, July 2015

Nearly 50% of brand marketers, and over 65% of media and agency marketers ranked the ability to reach target audiences as a key factor in media budget allocation. However, only about half of media and agency marketers are confident they have an optimized media mix, while even fewer brand marketers do, only about 25%. According to brand marketers, a best-in-class media allocation looks like: 

Best in Class Allocation of time and effort on media channels

Media Channel

% of Respondents

Website/content development

18%

Traditional advertising

17

Online advertising

14

Social

13

Mobile advertising and apps

12

Search

12

Email marketing

7

Direct mail marketing

4

Events and conferences

3

Source: Millward Brown Digital, July 2015

For most channels, this represents a change from 2014, with Mobile seeing the largest increase and Email Marketing seeing the greatest decrease. 

Percent Change In Usage

Category Change

2014-2015

Mobile advertising and apps

+4%

Social

+2

Search

+1

Traditional advertising

+1

Direct mail marketing

0

Website/content development

-1

Online advertising

-2

Events and conferences

-2

Email marketing

-3

Source: Millward Brown Digital, July 2015

In 2015, only 43% of brand marketers were confident in their organization’s integration of digital into their marketing strategy. However, since 2014, there has been a 10% increase in the volume of organizations integrating digital into their centralized marketing strategies. It’s no longer a question of whether to include digital in the marketing strategy, but rather when, where, and how much. 

Demonstrating ROI is the lone universal truth in marketing, says the report, making the ability to prove ROI against marketing efforts a top priority, says the report. The ability to track ROI through various channels continues to grow in importance, though expectations are higher for digital. A majority of marketers would increase investment in digital channels, like Social, if ROI measurement for those channels improves.

Over 70% of marketers would increase their budget in Digital, Mobile, and Social channels if ROI measurement was improved.

Would Increase Media Spend With Improved ROI Measurement

Medium

Would Increase Spend

Change Since 2014

Mobile

79%

+25%

Digital

78

+13

Social

74

+33

Traditional

47

+4

Source: Millward Brown Digital, July 2015

The report concludes with four silver bullets for best-in-class:

  • Create a best-in-class marketing research program by equipping your team with the know-how and fundamentals to plan, measure, track, and optimize marketing
  • A deep understanding of the dynamic consumer is essential to unlocking the potential of marketing in an increasingly connected world. Marketers need to ensure they are adopting behavioral research advancements as pillars of their insights toolkit
  • Digital channels have and will continue to increase their presence in marketers’ media allocations.  Begin by understanding your audience and their relationship with brand
  • Marketers need to plan, measure, track, and optimize to ensure they are constantly maximizing ROI. Achieve the right balance between a relentless pursuit of ROI and creative marketing experimentation

To access the complete report as a PDF file, please visit here.

 

 

1 comment about "Ya Gotta Get Digital Right For Effective Marketing".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, July 30, 2015 at 10:33 a.m.

    As with all of these surveys, even if we take them with a few grains of salt, it would be so much more informative if there was distinction between digital and "traditional" media. For example, only 61% of the reswpondents use audience measurement in making their decisions. Obviously the figure would be far higher for TV or magazines but much lower for digital. The same applies for "creative testing". This is a prerequisite for many national TV ad campaigns, but not for digital.

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