Managing Digital Marketing in 2015: new research

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Doug Kessler

16. 01. 2015 | 2 min read

Managing Digital Marketing in 2015: new research

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There’s some interesting stuff in a new piece of research called Managing Digital Marketing 2015 produced by Dr. Dave Chaffey of Smart Insights and TFM&A, the UK Marketing event. They surveyed Smart Insights members and TFM&A attendees, so the results might be skewed a bit towards more active, digitally-savvy marketers, but hey, data is data.

Most marketers feel like laggards

Garrison Keillor’s introduction to the Lake Woebegone Days radio show referred to the town as a place, “..where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking and all the children are above average.”

Well, digital marketers may be strong and good-looking but most of us feel well below average. Significantly more than 50% rate themselves in the earliest two stages of digital transformation on most capabilities (Management Buy-In is the only one with 50% in the bottom two stages — so the way appears to be lagging the will) :

Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 13.41.17

And less than 20% of marketers rate their digital communications, customer communications or performance improvement process at an advanced level.

I guess it’s not surprising. In a market as fast-moving as digital, you’d expect most marketers to feel a bit behind the curve. And since the leaders tend to be the ones who blog or issue ebooks and slideshares, it’s easy to conclude that most marketers are far ahead of us. Hint: they’re probably not.

We’re all on a lot of learning curves

When asked to assess their own digital marketing skills, most marketers feel they’ve got a lot to learn on pretty much all of the critical skills:

Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 14.25.09

A whopping 26% feel confident in their in-depth knowledge of content marketing, which suggests to me either that content marketing is easier than it looks or that a good chunk of marketers are arrogant bastards.

I’d like to have seen Analytics on this list — my guess is it would have the lowest self-ratings of all.

We need to be T-shaped.

Dr. Chaffey advocates the T-shaped approach to skills development: being conversant in all digital disciplines but really, really good at one (content marketing in this picture):

T-Shaped marketers in B2B

That makes sense to me and it’s what we’re seeing in clients with larger teams. For smaller teams, everyone tends to dabble across the board without that killer expertise in any one discipline.

(Me? I’m pear-shaped: conversant in lots of things but way too fond of pizza and cheeseburgers).

And the 2015 Understatement Award goes to:

The ‘head of department’ quoted as saying, “I believe that digital is here to stay…”

Now THAT is how you get to be head of department. :–)

(I’m being unfair: he or she went on to say less obvious things.)

Thanks for the data Dr. Dave and TFM&A.

You can get the whole report here.




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  • b2b-marketing

  • digital-marketing

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