GDPR is only one challenge faced by European marketers — and it may not even be the biggest one. Another issue is digital marketing inefficiency, according to the 2018 European Digital Marketing Survey, a study by SALESmanago Marketing Automation.
Of 300 specialists polled, only 48.1% rate their marketing as good or very good. And 60% would not apply to a marketing department when looking for a new job — some would rather work as restaurant managers.
Still, 65.2% expect to increase their marketing budgets this year, and 62.6% hope to invest in marketing technology. In addition, 60% will focus on better personalization. And 63% feel lead generation is important.
Email is the main communication channel, cited by 37.9%; second is social media, with 31.4%. In addition, 33.9% email marketing in their daily work, and nothing else even comes close.
But email is not rated as highly when it comes to generating leads. At 13.1%, email newsletter subscriptions rank fifth behind lead generation (21%), social media (17.2%), inbound marketing (16.2%) and referral programs (15.2%), and 26.2% say the best quality leads come from website forms.
Worse, 12.9% call email an overhyped marketing tactic. However, it ranks fourth in that distinction behind paid online promotion (16.6%), SEO (14.1%) and company blogs (14.1%).
And overhyped or not, the respondents clearly want to improve their email marketing. Email automation is a major focus this year for 18%, second only to lead generation (21%).
Other goals are conversion of the anonymous traffic info (14%), better use of social media (13%) and lead generation (9%).
But they may have a way to go. Of those surveyed, 10.1% rate their marketing as very good, and 38.4% as good. In addition, 33.% call themselves average, 13.1% weak and 5.1% poor.
At the same time, 21% say generating customers is a major challenge.
This year, 16% hope to move into YouTube, web push and messaging apps.
In general, 59% are using marketing automation platforms, and 14% want to automate as soon as possible. Actual purchases are determined by:
How do these marketers measures success? The biggest mechanism is Google tools, cited by 39.1%, and marketing automation platforms, used by 20.2%. But here is the saddest statistic of all — 5.6% don’t measure the effects of their marketing activities at all.