Turbotodd

Ruminations on IT, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

IBM Survey Results: The State of Marketing 2011

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The IBM Unica Marketing Innovation Summit is currently underway in Boston, Massachusetts (and for those of you in Berlin, will be in your fair city June 6-8).

At the event earlier today, IBM released its recent study, “The State of Marketing 2011,” which provided some very interesting and telling findings about that very topic.

As a marketer myself, I find myself eating up this kind of research, particularly in the kind of ever-volatile marketing environment we find ourselves operating in.

This study represents a comprehensive survey of almost 300 online and direct marketers from a mix of companies, revenues, and industries, and all responding companies reported more than $100M in revenue, with the largest block (54%) having over $1B revenue per annum.  All assume responsibilties across the complete spectrum of marketing roles, and over one third (35%) were marketing executives.

Without further adieu, let me provide a few headlines:

  • Marketers Seem Ready to Bridge the Gap Between Analysis and Action. This year, “measurement, analysis and learning” overtook “IT support of marketing needs” as the #1 marketing bottleneck.  After years of analysis paralysis, respondents identified “turning data-into-action” as their #1 org issue.  Can you relate?
  • Marketers Believe Technology Can Ease Their Pain. Over half also cited technology as the key to productivity. Marketers absolutely see technology helping resolve the challenge of meaningful measurement and analysis, and then choosing the next course of action — moreso, gasp, than additional staff or agency support.
  • Demand for An Integrated Marketing Suite Continues to Grow. As marketing’s need for technology grows and adoption matures, there’s a corresponding concern with integration — 87% of marketers express interest in a marketing suite that is better integrated. (And yes, we sell one.)
  • Marketers Believe in Interactive Marketing, But Have More Progress to Make Toward This Vision. While responses suggest that interest in achieving truly integrated cross-channel dialogs with customers is high, nearly half of survey participants report that they are only partially achieving that goal. The key barrier? Organizational structure and internal processes. Yet, 57% report the adoption of inbound marketing methods (personalized targeting/messaging) in their Web channels.
  • Social Media Marketing Experiencing Some Growing Pains. Once again, social media remains the reigning champion among emerging marketing channels, leading the way with 53% current usage. But, marketers’ enthusiasm is burning less brightly than last year, suggesting we have passed the peak of inflated expectations and are focused on finding the value that social channels can yield. (Big sigh of relief!)
  • Web Data is Highly Prized, But Putting it to Work in Campaign Decisioning Still Lags. Here’s a paradox for you: 92% of marketers appreciate the value and importance of Web data, yet half or less apply that data to customer analyses and campaigns. Of those that do, less than a third believe their efforts are very effective.
  • Mobile Marketing Continues to Rise. Consumers are rapidly adopting connected mobile devices and smart marketers are aggressively following their audience. 43$ of respondents say they currently use the tactic, with another 23% planning to do so within a year. Yet, there’s still plenty of room for integration with other marketing efforts.

So, for you marketers in the virtual room, do these all sound familiar? We as marketers are faced with an extraordinary pace of change and new capability, but the rapidity of these changes is outpacing our ability to maximize our embrace of all the new data and opportunity these capabilities create.

Yet, we can’t simply throw people at the problem (internal or agency partners).  We need to find more intelligent ways of utilizing technology to help breakdown barriers in the organization, integrate the view and responses to the consumer, and probably most pointedly, find a way to take all this new data and be able to quickly “action” it to the benefit of our marketing efforts (and, in turn, to our customers).

Those are just the highlights.  Click here to get the full report (in PDF format) to see the full sampling and analysis.

But, as the report itself summarizes, the good news in all this is that the proliferation of electronic channels has opened up many more possibilities for meaningful communications with customers.

The bad news, of course, is that with rapid channel proliferation we get mass confusion. In an environment already suffering from info overload, each new channel, tactic, and tool generates a flood of data that demands attention.

If you are interested in learning more about how intelligence, integration, and interactivity can drive your business results, visit our Interactive Marketing Resource Center.

There, you can get access to a video about the power of integrated marketing solutions and download the Unica Interactive Marketing eBook.

Or, you can continue floundering amidst all that endless trail of new marketing data and endure more analysis paralysis.

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