The majority of NZ agency clients say their digital budgets had increased this year, with most of these reporting budget growth of more than 20% – despite their overall adspend remaining static, according to new research from Econsultancy, commissioned by marketing software provider Marketo.
The commitment to digital is reflected in an expected increase in expenditure on marketing technology: 66% of clients said they will spend more this year.
Clients placed email platforms as top of the list when it came to technology investment, whereas agencies indicated their clients were investing more in content management systems, multichannel campaign management and marketing automation.
Marketo NZ manager Rob Cooke says the results show that local marketers are savvy to the opportunities provided by digital. “The pattern of digital marketing spend is similar around the world. Marketers are investing more in content marketing and using data, analytics and technology to understand the customer,” he said.
Earned media has been a big influence this year, with three-quarters of agency respondents saying their clients have increased spend in content marketing and 80% of companies saying they have increased spend across all earned media (social media and content marketing).
The biggest obstacle to further digital investment, highlighted by almost half of all respondents, was a lack of staff. A third also said a lack of understanding of digital was an issue. Even so, the vast majority of clients surveyed said they would be experimenting heavily with digital this year and 85% agreed that their digital marketing strategy in 2015 was more structured than in previous years.
While three quarters of clients said a good understanding of the technology will help senior marketing leaders maximise the potential of digital channels, about 40% of agencies said their clients’ senior executives had a poor understanding of the potential. One agency in the region said, “even though executives claim they understand digital, they don’t know what they don’t know”.
Rob Cooke said getting up to speed with the latest marketing technology can be a steep learning curve, but the rewards are there for those who make the leap.
“Platforms exist to follow consumers from ad-response right through to sale, tracking all stages of the engagement process across multiple channels and devices,” he said. “Using this level of granularity in marketing provides for huge efficiencies in marketing, not to mention improved customer experience and the opportunity to grow market share.”
Econsultancy APAC vice-president Jefrey Gomez said: “Companies are more committed than ever to increase their investment in digital marketing and technology, with budgets and boardroom support rising steadily. It’s also exciting to see the industry gearing up to place an emphasis on customer centricity, with many organisations striving to ensure that appropriate resources and core competencies are in place to enhance the customer experience.”
The survey, conducted in April and May 2015, included 472 senior agency and marketing staff in Australasia, 94 of them in New Zealand. They were split evenly between a B2B and a B2C focus, with 57% of company respondents having an annual marketing budget exceeding $1 million.
- Marketo NZ manager Robert Cooke: firstname.lastname@example.org
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