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Digital to account for 75% of all marketing spend in 5 years? [Infographic]

Author's avatar By Danyl Bosomworth 21 Jul, 2014
Essential Essential topic

Get in the game - don’t get stuck on the sideline

More than a third (35%) of senior marketing professionals believe that digital marketing will account for more than 50% of marketing spend by 2019, according to a new report from Accenture.  37% feel it’ll account for 75% or more of all budget.


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

My immediate question when I saw this headline for the report is what is "digital investment"? Is this just online advertising rather than actual marketing? We have to guard from a lazy “TV 2.0” mindset towards digital where we move ad spend, literally online. Thankfully the report is more broadly focussed on using digital to orientate around a consumer - so all's good!

What's behind the positivity about the future of digital? With the Accenture report stating that:

42% of marketers feel that analytics and working with metrics will become a ‘core competence’ in marketing over the next five years

Is this the result of increased focus on analytics and measured effectiveness? A growing confidence that the proof is in the pudding?

The findings suggest that CMOs are currently finding themselves short - the four key insights from the report from our perspective:

  • Analytics - hiring digital talent is critical especially regarding technical and analytical skills os off the back of CMO satisfaction of internal analytics falling to 49%.
  • Mobile alone will account for 50% of the marketing budget by 2019.
  • Digital budgets will account for more than 75% of the marketing budget.
  • Marketing will become an on-demand information function (according to 34% of respondents) and merged with IT 26%.

What is it that winning CMOs do?


According to Accenture, winning CMOs lead and transform the marketing role from a digital perspective, transforming the enterprise as result.

  • Embrace the full omni-channel customer experience.
  • Integrate channels with real-time analytics and then act on the insights.
  • Invest in agile technologies and cloud-based services.
  • Re-orient the marketing operating model and integrate new talent to harness digital innovation.
  • High performing CMOs harness the potential - 86% of high performing companies use analytics to direct focus and impact, and 80% provide a consistent customer experience.
  • The rise of the CDO to drive ‘digital transformation’, Chief Digital Office of course, changing the dynamic since it means only 1% of respondents see the CMO driving digital in the future, 35% see the CEO driving change.
  • Test, learn and “fail fast” where digital technology is concerned - 30% of CMOs feel that they lack critical technology or tools to drive digital integration.
  • And - a fascinating rise of the re-importance of email with 58% stating it as an important tool.

Do we believe it? The logic is sound but actions speak louder than words. Currently, Procter and Gamble direct only a third of their budget to digital marketing, although they have stated that they intend to increase this as it looks for more efficient marketing strategies, an approach also adopted by SABMiller and Pernod Ricard. Unilever, with brands such as Dove and Marmite, directs a mere 17%, so there’s some distance to go.

How do you get started and get into the game?


It’s a key and important question - here are three great start-points in the report:

  • Reverse engineer marketing initiatives around desired outcomes—which aren’t always sales transactions.
  • Empathise with your customers. This is the key insight - people not digital. Evolve marketing initiatives to engage, share and help your customers, rather than target, capture and convert them.
  • Engage customers in an ongoing dialogue instead of individual transactions. Treat your customer as a continuous relationship that covers the whole spectrum of sales, service, retention and loyalty.

Here's a full summary in infographic form:


Author's avatar

By Danyl Bosomworth

Dan helped to co-found Smart Insights in 2010 and acted as Marketing Director until leaving in November 2014 to focus on his other role as Managing Director of First 10 Digital. His experience spans brand development and digital marketing, with roles both agency and client side for nearly 20 years. Creative, passionate and focussed, his goal is on commercial success whilst increasing brand equity through effective integration and remembering that marketing is about real people. Dan's interests and recent experience span digital strategy, social media, and eCRM. You can learn more about Dan's background here Linked In.

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