Marketers ‘not prepared’ for digital future

Four in 10 marketers believe they are not well prepared to meet their professional objectives and think a lack of clear digital strategy is holding back their company, according to a report by Accenture.

Four in 10 marketers feel unprepared.

The lack of preparedness amongst marketers has increased 5 per cent in a year, according to the “Turbulence for the CMO” report. Accenture says this increase demonstrates the increasingly complex marketing environment facing marketers. The report cites a number of reasons including the need to balance consumer demands, multiple channels, lack of funding and “weak” digital direction.

The report found there is a gap between the ability of marketing organisations to use digital technologies and data effectively and the demands of consumers, but that marketers are “setting up building blocks for change” by increasing investment in digital and data capability.

Two thirds (66 per cent) of marketers are investing 25 per cent of their budget on digital this year and almost a quarter (23 per cent) are spending more than half their budget on digital.

Almost half (48 per cent) of marketers surveyed plan to invest more in managing customer data in 2013, 40 per cent will spend more on web analytics and 39 per cent will spend more on marketing analytics.

Another 50 per cent said they would hire more people with digital skills or provide staff more training in these areas this year.

One in five marketers claim inefficient business practices – internally and with external agencies – hinder the ability to improve marketing performance and drive ROI, making the case for better integration of marketing and digital resources across the business, according to the report.

Brian Whipple, global managing director of Accenture Interactive, says: “Marketing executives are growing increasingly concerned that tight budgets and the lack of a clear strategy for implementing digital technologies  – are hurting their company’s ability to compete in the digital age.

“However, improved performance will require more than new digital and analytics talent. The challenge of digital transformation is how to implement beyond marketing and across the entire enterprise.”

Accenture surveyed 405 senior marketers in 10 countries.