SALESmanago Marketing Automation decided to examine the state of today’s digital marketing. European Digital Marketing Survey, as that is the name for the research, drew the attention of many experts from all over Europe who agreed to take part in it. Among 300 experts there were specialists, users of Marketing Automation platforms, CEOs, CMOs, and influencers.
Respondents gave the comprehensive answers to all crucial questions about the state of digital marketing nowadays.

 

ABOUT PARTICIPANTS

 

The respondents covered a variety of sectors such as B2C, Retail, Software, Training and Coaching, Finance, Banking and many more. The two largest groups of respondents are B2B and eCommerce representatives. The owners of small companies constituted 45% of the whole group of respondents, whereas owners of the big enterprises represent 30% of the whole group.

 

THE MOST INTERESTING CONCLUSIONS FROM THE RESEARCH

 

As a platform that undercovers the potential of the most advanced technologies for Marketing Automation such as AI & Machine Learning, we have found out that only 1% of respondents employ bots, AI and Machine Learning while performing the job duties.
Besides we have asked our respondents about the most overrated marketing tactics and the results present that paid online promotions, SEO and company blogs are considered to be the most overpraised.

That’s not all! We have obtained many more interesting insights that we want to share with. Below you will find a handful of statistics which will deepen the understanding of the digital marking of today.

59% of respondents are using Marketing Automation platforms

38,8% of marketers consider Google tools as best for measuring effects of marketing campaigns

63% of marketers determine lead generation as the main target

14% want to implement marketing automation in their work as soon as possible

60% of respondents wouldn’t choose to work in marketing departments if they could change the current position

Only 48% of marketers rate their marketing effectiveness as good or very good

 

ABOUT MARKETING AUTOMATION

 

The number of Marketing Automation users

More than the half of the respondents are using Marketing Automation platforms in their daily work.

Rest of entrepreneurs who haven’t implemented Marketing Automation in their companies yet, claim that they want to do so in 2018.

The results showed that Marketing Automation system is gaining popularity among both small and big companies. So contrary to the popular belief, Marketing Automation is beneficial for companies regardless of their size. The automation provides a wide range of possibilities and makes everyday work of marketers more efficient. Moreover, the advantage of the solution lies in the flexibility, so irrespectively of the sector, each company can put it to use.

What does affect the decision to purchase the Marketing Automation platform

The decision is affected by many factors such as:

  • possibilities of integration (23,8%)
  • features and solutions (18,1%)
  • support during implementation (16,0%)

as well as usability (14,1%) and the cost of implementation (14,8%).

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How to choose an appropriate system

 

Having gained the idea about the possibilities and benefits of implementing the Marketing Automation platform, you need to know where you can find information about the system, its producers and how to choose the tool.

For 30% of respondents, the main source of information includes the materials published by developers (blog, case studies, reports, ebooks, etc.).

20% of participants pointed that they are getting the information from recommendations of the people they know while 14% of them are looking for the information from agencies and market analysts reports.

 

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CHALLENGES AND MARKETING EFFICIENCY

 

Main marketing challenges in 2018

 

The survey included the questions concerning the challenges and marketing efficiency. Majority of respondents asked about their focus in 2018 pointed lead generation and Email marketing automation. However, the entrepreneurs indicated the conversion of the anonymous persons into leads and better use of Social Media as an important task in a current year. Most of the participants answered the question “What are you planning to focus on in the coming year?” with:

 

 

Marketing efficiency

 

On a 1-5 scale (very good – poor) less than 50% of marketers rating their works as good or very good.

 

 

Cooperation between sales and marketing teams

 

40,6% of participants described the level of cooperation between sales and marketing teams in their companies as “Close cooperation”. In 30,7% of companies, the cooperation is loose, whereas 16,5% of them determined the cooperation as occasional and there is no such cooperation in as many as 5,9% of companies.

 

MAIN MARKETING GOALS AND PLANS FOR 2018

 

Main marketing goals for 2018

 

The main goal for most of the respondents (62,99%) is generating new leads. To improve their marketing results, respondents intend to better plan their campaigns and invest in technologies aimed at automating marketing processes.

 

Changes

42.4% of respondents plan to introduce major changes in the marketing strategy related to new technologies.

Almost half of the respondents want to implement in their activities tools for marketing automation in the nearest future. In addition, they also want to expand Social Media and Video Marketing channels for better communication.

 

Challenges

21% of marketers believe that generating potential customers is a major challenge for marketing departments in the upcoming year. Marketers in their activities plan to focus on the conversion of potential customers to customers and improving the sales process.

 

Best ways to generate leads

 

When it comes to the best source of potential customers, the participants indicated Social Media, Inbound Marketing, Recommendation Systems and Subscriptions to the newsletter:

 

 

 

Sources of leads of the highest quality

 

However, taking into account the quality of leads, respondents believe that the highest quality leads are acquired from contact forms on the website – 26.2%, and systems of recommendations – 16.6%.

 

Budget, investments

 

65.2% of respondents plan to increase the marketing budget in 2018.

62.6% of participants want to invest in marketing technologies.

Entrepreneurs plan to allocate additional funds for the implementation of Marketing Automation tools. Some of them also want to spend part of the budget on the development of Content Marketing, promotion of Social Media, as well as the implementation of Big Data or Machine Learning.

 

 

ANALYSIS IN MARKETING

 

 

The frequency of conducted analysis

The constant analysis of gathered data is the key to correct interpretation of the results, action management and improvement of marketing results. The analytics itself is a source of most valuable information about the efficiency of the implemented solutions. But how it looks like in real life? How often do we take advantage of them?

Almost 31% of respondents revealed that they analyze their marketing activities once a week.

 

 

Tools to measure the marketing performance

 

Google tools (38,8%) are the most frequently employed in the analysis of the results. The second place is taken by Marketing Automation platforms.

 

 

 

CUSTOMER COMMUNICATION

 

37.9% of marketers, as the main channel of communication with recipients, still choose email marketing, but almost equally often they reach potential clients via widely understood social media.

 

Most commonly used communication channels:

 

 

Communication channels to implement this year

 

In the coming year, marketers plan to introduce communication through YouTube, Web Push, and online messengers.

 

MARKETING TOOLS

 

Most often used marketing tools

 

Email marketing is the most commonly used tool in the marketer’s work over as 33% of respondents claim to use it in their daily work.

Least used tools include new technologies: Bots – only 1% and Machine Learning – 0.9%

 

 

 

Most overhyped marketing tactics

 

Like in the real life, in the world of marketing, a new trend appears and passes with time. That’s why we asked our respondents which of them they consider the most overhyped right now. Here are the results:

On the basis of respondents’ opinion, paid online promotion and company blog are the most overhyped marketing tactics.

 

 

 

Technologies of new generation

 

In the coming year, marketers plan to focus on better personalization (60%).

Respondents are especially interested in the personalization of websites and personalized remarketing.

The most desired new generation technologies are solutions tailored to the Ecommerce industry: Cross-Channel recommendations using AI and Product Analytics and Product Intelligence for Ecommerce.

 

INVESTMENTS

66.25% of respondents assure that in the coming year they plan to increase the budget for their marketing activities.

Most of the respondents want to allocate additional funds for the implementation of marketing automation tools, in addition, many of them are interested in increasing the budget for the content marketing and promotions in Social Media.

A small number of respondents is also interested in introducing new generation solutions to their marketing activities, such as artificial intelligence, Big Data and Machine Learning.

 

DARK SIDE OF MARKETING

 

About 60% of respondents would not choose a position related to marketing when changing jobs. Among the selected positions were a Business analyst or Restaurant Manager.

Regarding the choice of the ideal position in the marketing departments, the highest number of responses received the position of the Project Manager (27.2%). Many of the respondents would also like to apply for the position of Growth hacker or Big Data Analyst.

 

 

CONCLUSION

 

To sum up European Digital Marketing Survey 2018.

Taking into account changing trends and constantly growing consumer needs, we have noticed that the marketer’s every day responsibilities became very challenging. Marketing departments are overhyped and getting less effective.

The report clearly shows that 60% of marketers would most likely change their jobs to those which are completely unrelated to marketing. However, rest of responders, which are planning to stay in marketing – would prefer to deal only with hard data analysis or project management.

Marketers do not need much, they are not interested in the overrated and advanced technological novelties such as artificial intelligence or machine learning, only 1% of respondents are satisfied with the level which new generation tools currently offered. On the contrary, marketing departments in the upcoming year decide to focus on better personalization of the content offered by them.

In order to meet the requirements of an increasingly conscious customer, producers of marketing automation platforms are trying to improve daily activities of marketers by offering applications which propose the creation of personalized, dynamic and fully automatic content.

The research indicates that during the coming year, the effort should be dedicated to the development and improvement of the platforms offering marketing automation.