Study Identifies Widespread Shortfalls in Digital Marketing Talent, Technology and Strategy

March 12, 2014 by

According to the 2014 Marketing Score Report, a survey of 318 marketers, executives and entrepreneurs, organizations lack confidence in their internal marketing teams, which are particularly weak in key digital marketing skills, such as social media, data analysis and lead management.

Yet, these are the exact skills needed to run high-impact campaigns that perform better than their traditional counterparts. Let’s dive into this digital disconnect.

Digital Done Right Yields Bottom-Line Results

According to the report, 86% of organizations identify "generate leads" as a high-priority goal. So what are organizations that excel at lead generation doing that others aren't? In short, they're creating content and driving leads through digital marketing.

We analyzed a segment of high performers—organizations that rated lead volume as an asset—and compared how they perform versus all others in the Lead Sources section. These high performers have an average Lead Sources section score 1.2x higher, and they dominate in critical digital marketing-related lead sources:

  • Premium content = 1.8x
  • Blogging = 1.6x
  • Digital ads = 1.5x
  • Organic search = 1.5x
  • Email marketing = 1.3x
  • Social media = 1.3x
  • Website = 1.3x

Digital ROI is proven once again when we look closer at specific digital strategies and technologies, compared to performance.

  • Blogging high performers rate 1.7x higher in lead volume, and 1.5x the average lead-to-sale conversion rate.
  • CRM high performers have a lead-to-sale conversion rate 1.4x the average rate of all others.
  • Marketing automation high performers have an average lead-to-sale conversion rate 1.6x the average rate of all others.

As demonstrated above, those organizations pursuing digital marketing strategies perform better in lead generation and sales.

But, Are Organizations Equipped to Deliver?

While digital strategy benefits abound, organizations lack the internal skills and resources to deliver.

With the exception of strategic planning and website management, on average, organizations rated their internal marketing teams weak in all 15 skills that should be considered part of a modern marketing team.

These findings are complementary to OMI’s State of Digital Marketing Talent report, which also identified gaps in digital marketing skills. According to the OMI report, only 8% believe their internal teams are strong in all areas of digital marketing.

Many organizations also lack, or are underutilizing, fundamental marketing technologies, with call tracking, internal social networks, marketing automation and marketing analytics as the lowest scoring.

So, how can marketers improve their performance and drive greater results?

Move Your Marketing Forward

Success starts with an assessment. Gain a clear, well-rounded view of where your organization stands and what work needs to be done by involving multiple stakeholders. Ask each to rate your current marketing assets, processes, talent, etc., to pinpoint where strengths and weaknesses lie.

Armed with this information, put strategies in place to improve deficiencies and capitalize on strengths. Examples may include launching an internal training program, breaking down organizational silos or implementing a new marketing technology. The only way to develop your action plan for 2014 is through a thorough, honest assessment of your current status.

How are you overcoming the digital divide to achieve greater performance in your organization? Share your comments below. 

Interested in strengthening you digital marketing skills? To learn from the world’s top brands and agencies on how they are integrating to drive results using digital advertising, analytics, social, mobile, register for Online Marketing Institute's Integrated Agency and Brand Marketing Summit next Monday, March 17th!




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