Marketing Adspend Budget

Nearly a quarter of digital marketers are ineffectively spending their budgets


By Jessica Davis | Consultant Journalist

October 5, 2017 | 3 min read

In a bid to understand how digital marketers are spending and tracking their budget, digital marketing agency Greenlight commissioned a survey of 200 digital marketing professionals. It appears that the marketing industry in 2017 contains only a handful of digital marketers that are confident their campaigns are targeting the right audience.

Troublingly, 36% don’t have confidence in their campaign targeting, and even more shocking is that almost one in five (18%) don’t think their campaigns are reaching their desired audience at all, while 10% are not even sure which channels are the most valuable for their campaigns. Those that do know they've targeted correctly are not dedicating their budgets to the right channel, with 17% yet to commit their budgets accordingly.

Over a third (35%) of those surveyed spend most of their marketing budget on social media campaigns, even though only 23% of consumers like to be targeted via social. An even greater concern is that 21% of professionals are dedicating most of their budget to content marketing, when in reality 3% of consumers like to be communicated through content such as blogs, online advice pieces and sponsored content. These findings demonstrate that many marketers are spending their budgets ineffectively, with a great risk of not reaching their desired target audience via relevant channels. Considering the potential for such extensive audience insight currently available, this is a disappointing find.

Andreas Pouros, chief executive officer and co-founder of Greenlight, commented: “John Wanamaker’s infamous quote “half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, the trouble is I don’t know which half” may be nearly 100 years old, but it is clear that many in the industry are still struggling. This is down to some digital marketers not being able to identify their key audience and ensuring they take the next steps to target them through the right channels with the right messaging.

“It may seem daunting, but digital marketers should make the most of the data they have to hand, and aim to dig a little deeper so their brand gets seen in the right places by the right people. The best campaigns are led by audience insights and by focusing on this, marketers will then, in turn, be able to prove return on investment (ROI) and demonstrate the impact of their campaigns to the broader business”

Alongside identifying audience, measurement and tracking of spend are essential when demonstrating the business impact of campaigns. However, the industry struggles overcoming the challenges around multiple data sources and tracking online versus offline spend, with 44% and 35% admitting to struggling respectively.

At 31%, the research finds awareness metrics (such as site traffic and impressions) and customer acquisition cost the most common measurement metrics used amongst digital marketers – both smart, informative forms of measurement. However, one that appears to be missing from priority is engagement, coming in at 29%.

“The reality is marketers can’t look at metrics in isolation, as it can lead to a tunnel-view approach to campaigns, which can then restrict the creative element,” Pouros adds. “Ultimately, having an end-to-end understanding of your customer interactions is key to success, and will lead to better personalised campaigns as a result of that full, unique customer understanding.”

The report’s findings were researched by Morar research house and the digital marketing research was also supported by a Google consumer survey with 1000 consumers.

Marketing Adspend Budget

Content created with:

Greenlight (now part of Brave Bison)

Greenlight has lived and breathed digital since 2001, when we started as three people in an old North London print shop. Today, we’re a full-service digital and commerce agency made up of 170 people, with a reputation for producing integrated, transformational strategies across the entire digital space.

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