RetailMeNot contacted 200 marketing decision-makers at retailers that sell both online and in physical retail locations and have at least $50 million in annual revenue to find out how they feel about digital advertising.
75% said they believe that digital delivers a higher return on investment than offline advertising. They believe it, but they’re not putting their marketing money where their mouth is.
Looking at the total marketing budget, 51% is going to the digital side, 49% to offline. Why? Old habits and a lack of confidence. Only 27% of those surveyed thought of themselves as advanced digital marketers. Only 19% said they thought their current multi-channel approach was effective. Which means a whole lot of marketers think they could be doing better if they tried harder or had more training.
Mobile is a particular problem. 65% said they believe branded apps are excellent for driving in-store sales but only 19% said they had advanced knowledge of mobile apps and only 24% said they were actively working on mobile apps.
Part of the problem is the rate of change in digital marketing. Two years ago, we weren’t even talking about mobile apps. Now it’s an idea every retailer has to think about. We’ve been buying banner ads for years, but now it’s video ads and social media promoted posts and native advertising. Are they teaching this stuff in business school? Does it matter? Because by the time the students graduate and go to work, what they’ve learned is as old school as a flyer on the grocery store bulletin board.
Marketers are slowly moving away from offline assets such as catalogs and newspaper ads. Now, they’re concentrating on their own websites, deal sites and apps and to a lesser extent, their own mobile apps.
Other survey results:
- Nearly three in four retail marketers (70 percent) said that most customers care a lot about finding
a good deal.
- Not only are they looking for a good deal, they are looking for them online: Approximately two-thirds
(63 percent) said customers were “savvy when it comes to finding deals on the Internet.”
- Half (50 percent) agree that most consumers get their information about retailers through mobile
In the end, a large percentage of marketers said they feel like they could be doing a better job incorporating digital into their plan but how can you take the time to learn something new when it’s all you can do to keep up with what’s happening now?
So that’s my question for all of you: how do you keep up with the changes in digital marketing. Do you take classes? Hire experts or just fly seat of pants and hope it all comes together?