Yet another piece of research that caused an eyebrow to rise up bubbled up in my news stream yesterday. This one is from the Ascend2 folks via MarketingProfs and concerns strategy in digital marketing. Two thirds of the marketers survey think they’re doing an OK job with another quarter believing they are doing a great job. It’s what they identified as challenges that piqued my interest and which is our topic today:
Marketers say a lack of effective strategies is the biggest obstacle to success in digital marketing… More than half of marketers surveyed (51%) cited strategy issues when asked to list the major factors preventing them from fully achieving their digital marketing goals. Budget constraints were the second most cited obstacle (picked by 38% of respondents); lack of training/experience was next (32%), followed by inability to prove ROI (30%), and useless metrics/analytics (25%).
Budget is an issue for everyone it seems no matter what your company or role. Given the constantly changing set of tools, I can understand the lack of training. The other items on the list are more concerning. First and of greatest concern is that over half feel they lack a strategy that works and yet they seem to be executing anyway. That’s firing without aiming. This finding doesn’t really shock me given experiences I have had with clients. There is an appetite to jump into new spaces without giving much thought as to why or how. What’s of interest as well is what happens when marketers are asked about what does seem to be effective:
Some 54% of respondents rate email as one of their most successful digital marketing tactics; 48% rate websites as a top tactic; 47% search engine optimization; 43% social media. Email is also seen as a relatively easy digital marketing tactic to execute, with only 11% of respondents rating it as one of the most difficult channels.
No surprise – email is well understood by most companies since it’s been around for a long time. It’s also in wide enough use that one can benchmark and learn from the mistakes of others. Much easier to aim before firing, right?
“Why” needs to come before “how”. Aiming needs to come before firing. After all, no brand has that many chances with consumers and if you can’t hit the mark the first time there might not be a second. You agree?