98 Percent of Marketers Say Online and Offline Marketing Are Merging, Gartner Study Finds
Digital marketing is now mainstream, and digital commerce is a top priority for marketers, according to a survey of marketing executives by IT research and advisory firm Gartner. The survey also found that marketing budgets increased 10 percent in 2015, with 61 percent of respondents saying they expect budgets to increase again in 2016. “Marketers no longer make a clear distinction between offline and online marketing disciplines,” said Yvonne Genovese, group vice president at Gartner. “As customers opt for digitally led experiences, digital marketing stops being a discrete discipline and instead becomes the context for all marketing.
“The rise in digital commerce is an opportunity for marketers,” said Jake Sorofman, research vice president at Gartner.
“There was a time when marketing and selling were two distinct disciplines. In many cases, digital merges these two into a single, continuous activity from initial awareness, through engagement, conversion, transaction and repeat purchase. Marketers can now tie spend to revenue. In fact, it’s becoming a mandate.”
Two main factors are driving marketers’ interest in digital commerce: the need to point to tangible results from marketing investments, and the recognition that companies need more than a commerce platform to sell. In the past, we’ve seen digital commerce operations wholly disconnected from the marketing engine. Today, we’re seeing integration between marketing and digital commerce as two parts of a single discipline, where marketers bring everything from content marketing and brand storytelling to advanced analytics and multichannel campaign management to optimize digital commerce across channels.
As CMOs face the digital transition, the survey showed that overall marketing budgets are on the rise. This year, 61 percent of respondents said that marketing spending will be, on average, 11 percent of company revenue, up from 10 percent of company revenue last year. That one percentage point change represents a sizable increase—10 percent, year over year—in marketing spend.
“Bigger budgets, however, come with sizable expectations,” said Sorofman. “Marketing is expected to drive profitable growth through the acquisition, retention and expansion of the most valuable customer relationships. As customer buying journeys and customer expectations expand, so, too, does marketing’s scope of responsibility.
As a result, the marketing remit now often includes driving broad-mandate customer experience, digital commerce and innovation initiatives.”