Marketers expect digital to make up ‘75% of budgets in next five years’


Most senior marketers expect digital to dominate their budgets within the next five years, but most fear they will not be prepared for the impact this will have on the industry and their roles, according to new research.

The study, from Accenture, found that a majority of marketing execs (78%) expect digital and mobile technologies to transform their businesses over the next five years, just 21% think they’ll be ready to reap the related benefits.

The report indicates that more than one-third of senior marketers expect digital spending to account for more than 75% of their marketing budgets within five years, while 41% believe their spending on digital marketing will increase by more than 5% next year alone.

View this infographic from Accenture highlighting the threats facing CMOs below;


Despite the concerns of industry leaders, Brian Whipple, senior managing director at Accenture Interactive, is encouraged by their actions.

“As marketing executives are increasingly embracing digital, they can be catalysts to help their company take advantage of the wider digital opportunity and protect against broader digital threats," Whipple explains in the new report.

Accenture’s research is based on survey responses of nearly 600 executives in 11 countries conducted between November 2013 and January 2014.

Respondents believe that front-line employees and customer word-of-mouth are still very important marketing channels, but the increase in effectiveness of email marketing, online display advertising and search engine optimization was up significantly from a similar study conducted by Accenture, in 2012.

Also of note, although marketing executives have had success in hiring more talent with digital, analytical and technical skills, the survey shows a 10-point decline in customer and digital analytics capabilities compared to the 2012 survey.

As it stands, 62% of survey respondents said their companies currently provide a good customer experience.

The figures suggest a huge growth in digital investment over the next five years, with brands’ digital spend way behind this level at the moment.

Procter & Gamble, put just a third of their media spend into digital, although it has vowed to up this proportion as it looks for ways to improve marketing efficiency. Mondelez, SABMiller and Pernod Ricard, which have all revealed plans to restructure around digital capabilities to deliver more cost-effective marketing. Rival Unilever, which owns brands such as Dove, Vaseline and Marmite, invested 17% of its media spend in digital last year.

“Digital is changing the world and CMOs know it. They are embracing digital channels with fervor, but it’s time to do more. The prize is not mastery of the channels but command of the opportunities to delight customers and drive superior business outcomes. Then the reward for customers and marketers alike becomes relevant and seamless experiences from brand promise through brand delivery,” says the report.

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