Do marketers really understand digital?


DomusIronically, the ad industry recently suggested that the word “digital” be retired since almost all marketing is touched by digital in some way.  But, it’s too soon, says a recent Domus study featured in the Wall Street Journal. The quantitative study that Domus developed (and Harris Interactive implemented) revealed that 82% of marketers have some unmet need. The top unmet need is measurement and reporting to define a true ROI for spending, a critical part of all marketers’ jobs. While digital has grown significantly in terms of the marketing mix, 64% of marketers report their company as having “digital dysfunction,” defined as the inability to truly understand digital properties, how they interact together and ultimately how to maximize digital results. Another unmet need: 69% of marketers want outside help in developing new revenue streams to grow their business.

“Every marketer needs to figure digital out and how to correlate it with their business or they won’t know what they’re investing in or what’s working and what’s not working,” Domus CEO Betty Tuppeny told WSJ.

The new research comes as digital media have been gaining a bigger share of marketers’ ad dollars. Interpublic Group’s research and ad buying arm Magna Global recently forecast that digital media will draw more ad spending than television by 2018. For 2014, Magna Global expects digital media advertising to increase more than 14%.

The Domus study found that 91% of marketers surveyed believe their company needs better methods to measure the business impact of digital marketing and social media. Additionally, 84% said their company needs to achieve more with their digital marketing, including increasing a return on investment from social media.

Still, more than half of the respondents rated their agencies as “excellent” or “good” in terms of providing relevant and measurable solutions for digital technologies.

“In order to remain valuable and relevant, agencies must help clients understand how to integrate and utilize digital marketing to build the bottom line,” Tuppeny said.

Domus’ survey polled 155 full-time employees working at the director level or higher at companies with annual revenue of $250 million or more who have at least some decision-making responsibilities for marketing or advertising at their company.

See the Wall Street Journal story here.