With digital marketing spend now outpacing investment in traditional advertising channels, the marketing field is one facing the most amount of change, particularly on the skills front. Let's take a closer look at the current state of the digital marketing landscape.
Marketing roles continue to be in high demand this year, and the split between those who started in the field (48 percent) and those transitioning from other fields (52 percent) has stayed very consistent from 2019.
Most marketing respondents were either intermediate level seniority (36 percent) or management level (23 percent), and teams in the marketing field remain relatively small, with 64 percent of respondents working on teams with 10 or fewer people.
In terms of the breakdown of marketing activities, 66 percent of respondents reported working in content creation, followed by campaign implementation (63 percent), research and strategy (60 percent), and content or campaign optimization (59 percent). It's no surprise that content marketing is a popular area, with the industry estimated to be worth $400 million by 2021.
When it comes to digital marketing tools and software, some clear leaders continue to dominate the industry.
For the second year in a row, MailChimp is ranked as the most widely used email marketing platform with 65 percent of marketing respondents preferring it. Another clear leader in the marketing industry is Google Analytics, with 82 percent of digital marketing professionals stating that they use the platform to track campaign success. Excel and Google Sheets were other popular choices (50 percent) and 31 percent of respondents use custom-built reports.
With the rise of content marketing, content management systems (CMS) are more important than ever before, and organizations are relying heavily on them for a large portion of their core marketing activities. Wordpress is by far the most popular content management system amongst respondents, with 70 percent preferring it. Hubspot was the next favourite, with 27 percent of respondents listing it as their preferred CMS.
Salesforce continues to be the most widely used CRM year-over-year, with 43 percent of respondents using the platform.
In the world of social media, Hootsuite is the most dominant social media management platform for the second year in a row with 51 percent of respondents preferring it. When it comes to social platforms, Instagram surpassed Facebook this year with 67 percent of respondents listing it as an effective platform for social media marketing. Facebook was a close second with 59 percent, and LinkedIn came in third with 51 percent of respondents citing it as effective, and it leapfrogged Twitter in the process. This may indicate that LinkedIn may soon be playing a much bigger role in marketing initiatives in 2020 and beyond.
Our respondents reported using a wide range of marketing channels, but the most common were email marketing (75 percent), content marketing (74 percent), and organic social media (72 percent).
To keep on top of new marketing techniques and ideas, most Marketers (68 percent) use blogs, digital skills courses (63 percent) and online forums (48 percent). In terms of learning modalities, respondents primarily stuck to webinars, workshops, and in-person courses.
Digital skills training is recognized as highly important amongst our marketing respondents, with 89 percent stating digital skills training would make them more successful in their role.
When asked what type of training would improve their performance and professional development, data and marketing came out on top. Similarly, respondents felt that their company as a whole would be more successful if employees had better data and marketing skills.
78 percent of respondents also reported that marketing literacy in their organization is intermediate or below, leaving lots of room for upskilling.
We asked Marketers what areas they will be focusing on in 2020, and 58 percent of respondents cited brand strategy and 56 percent cited content strategy as two leading areas of focus for this year.
Surprisingly, the vast majority (72 percent) of marketing respondents don't use chatbots as part of their marketing strategy, but a sizeable chunk (20 percent) are starting to incorporate them. Industries are moving even further toward eCommerce, with 53 percent of Marketers working at organizations that sell products and services online. This number has increased 18 percent since 2019, when 65 percent of Marketers stated that their companies did not utilize eCommerce.
Looking at the five-year horizon, marketing professionals said they feel the largest impact will come from AI (78 percent), machine learning (56 percent), voice-based experiences (50 percent), and eCommerce (40 percent). According to Marketers, we can count on these core trends and technologies to change the game.