Corporate Eye

Top Marketing Priorities for 2015: Data and Integration

marketing priorityIf 2014 was the year of mobile marketing, 2015 will be the year of data and integrated marketing. At least those are the top priorities for marketers according to a new report from Marin Software based on a survey of 300 digital marketers in the United States and United Kingdom.

Of the top 10 priorities that marketers cited for 2015, seven are directly related to data and three are directly related to integration. Those three priorities that are directly related to integration are also indirectly related to data, so it’s safe to name data as the top 2015 marketing priority.

The results from the Marin Software survey ranked the top 10 priorities for 2015 as follows:

  1. (Data) Creating campaigns based on deeper understanding of audiences: 51%
  2. (Integration) Cross-channel digital marketing: 50%
  3. (Integration) Better integrating our online and offline marketing efforts: 46%
  4. (Integration) Better integrating our digital marketing disciplines: 44%
  5. (Data) Investing in more sophisticated technology to gain and act on insights about our customers: 33%
  6. (Data) Hiring more people with data analysis skills: 33%
  7. (Data) Working closely with our IT/tech team: 32%
  8. (Data) Programmatic buying of advertising: 23%
  9. (Data) Gaining better transparency into where our digital agencies invest our marketing spend and the results they deliver for us: 22%
  10. (Data) Better understanding how to market to customers in emerging markets: 17%

Despite the clear importance of marketing integration, only 24% of respondents to the survey stated that digital marketing in their organizations is totally integrated with all marketing areas, and only 27% indicated that their marketing disciplines are totally integrated. On the other end of the spectrum, 20% of respondents indicated that their digital marketing is not integrated with offline marketing at all, and 12% indicated that their marketing disciplines are not integrated. In other words, there is still so much work to be done to effectively integrate marketing initiatives and support.

2015 Marketing Challenges

With the growing need for marketing integration, much of which is dependent on access to data and transparent communications, it’s not surprising that the report found four key challenges marketers will face in 2015.

First, they’ll continue to struggle with identifying which ad channels and initiatives drive specific results, particularly as the buying process becomes more fragmented across multiple devices.

Second, marketers need to be mobile-friendly in all campaigns, but only 57% of marketers who responded to this study said that they optimize campaigns for mobile when they’re able to. However, mobile isn’t the main focus of those programs. More specifically, only 33% of marketers make mobile a priority in order to support context-specific and seamless experiences across devices. If this way of thinking continues, brands will be in trouble in 2015.

Third, silo marketing is not dead yet. In fact, this survey shows us that it’s alive and thriving. Companies need to break down the walls within marketing departments as well as within the organization as a whole to develop the most effective cross-channel marketing campaigns.

And fourth, marketers need transparent and actionable data, but they also need the skills to actually use that data. Having data and using it well are two very different things.

You can follow the link at the beginning of this article to access the full study.

How well is your organization integrating marketing and collecting and using data? What are your 2015 priorities? Are data and integration on the list? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

Image: Adam Ciesielski

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for Entrepreneur.com and Forbes.com, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as MSNBC.com, BusinessWeek.com, TodayShow.com, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.
 
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