Where Is Marketing And Where Is It Headed?

Social is important, but not yet core to most businesses

by Jason Falls |

Exact Target released new research this morning that looks at the State of Marketing in 2014. The research, pulled from over 2,500 marketing professionals, has some interesting trends and developments that tell us a bit about where our own heads are and where many are moving.

As expected, the priority for marketers in 2014 is to drive increased conversion rates and improve brand awareness. Collecting and measuring behavioral data comes in third with the other two neck and neck, but those two are what marketers are typically charged with. What surprised me at first glance was that 61 percent of the respondents said the planned to increase spending for data and analytics, which was the highest among other areas. Certainly, quantifying and qualifying success is important, but this category in the lead may indicate that marketers are not satisfied in understanding of what they get in return.

Social Media Team Size - Exact TargetWhile it’s good to see that 86 percent of marketers see social media as providing ROI, it’s depressing to see that only 46 percent say it’s core to their business. More than half have a dedicated social team, but almost half only assign one person to handling it. We’re still a long way away if less than half see it as a key element of their communications success.

Most of the other metrics are in line with that I would expect, but there are some interesting nuggets in there. For anyone arguing for budget, planning for 2014 or beyond or hoping to see how your peers are thinking about marketing, the Exact Target report is something worth downloading.

Head over to ExactTarget.com and get your copy. If anything, it’s a good benchmark for you heading into the year.

And the research is solid. There were over 2,500 responses from marketers of all levels and backgrounds. That’s more people that contribute to local Nielsen ratings, which decide whether or not your favorite anchors keep their jobs.

What stands out to you? Surprises? The comments, as always, are yours.

About the Author

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).