In a recent conversation with a chief technology officer, he asserted all digital technology changes in his organisation were being led by IT and not by marketing. It made me wonder: How long a marketing function like this could survive?
New research from Adobe’s Digital Index team is showing Australia’s top digital marketers increasing their lead on the rest of the industry and seeing higher customer conversions as a result.
The new Best of the Best Benchmark research covers six regions across Asia-Pacific including Australia and New Zealand, and looks at six key digital performance indicators for marketers as benchmarks: Smartphone and tablet traffic; stick rate, or visitors engaging with more than one website page; visits per visitor; time spent; and conversion rate.
The results are broken down into the top 20 per cent of marketers – the best of the best – and the remainder. To do the research, Adobe used data derived from the more than 6000 customers using its core marketing technology platforms.
Overall, the research claims the top 20 per cent of digital marketers are pulling away from the pack, chalking up significantly better results across each of the six performance areas.
For example, the best performers boasted double the conversion rate than their peers. Adobe found four out of every 100 visitors to A/NZ websites managed by the top 20 per cent converted to customers in the travel and retail sectors, compared to two of every 100 for the rest.
In addition, the best websites optimised for smartphone visitors outperformed average sites by 6.9 per cent in A/NZ, while the best websites have a higher stick rate of 66 per cent compared to the industry average (46 per cent).
Return visitors was another indicator, with the best websites chalking up a 34.9 per cent higher rate than the industry average. While the research and performance indicators leave plenty of room for interpretation of the results, as well as what actually makes up digital marketing success, Adobe hopes the research will provide a benchmark for the industry.
Adobe Digital Index principal analyst, Tamara Gaffney, claimed the results are proof that making a commitment to digital excellence can result in a significant increase in revenue. She also noted those organisations in the top 20 per cent were already well ahead when it comes to embracing a digital-first culture.
“People in the best zone invested in changing their culture to go digital a couple of years ago,” she said. “It’s not a new phenomenon for them. As an organisation, you have to change the entire culture to be successful in digital marketing.”
Speaking at a press lunch during the Adobe Digital Marketing Symposium in Sydney, Adobe’s VP of brand, John Travis, said the tipping point for his organisation in making the necessary culture change to become digital-led was when the executive team threw their support behind it.
“Getting executive commitment was the real game change for us at Adobe,” he told CMO. “What also helped is when we started seeing those first results to our digital efforts.”
During the Adobe Symposium, Travis detailed how Adobe’s own marketing teams had transformed structure and processes to become a digital-first organisation, highlighting the need to not only invest in new technologies, but also change the way people collaborate and work.
The other big change is shifting from a campaign mentality to ongoing interactions with customers across multiple channels. Travis explained that as a marketer, he’d been taught marketing success was all about the culture of the campaign, and developing a campaign structure.
“With digital marketing, things need to change every day. This means we have to be linked at the hip with IT, sales and so on,” he continued.
“Before, I used to meet once per year with IT. Now we meet once per week; that is a major cultural shift. We didn’t speak the same language either, and had to learn how to work together.”
Adobe’s Digital Index practice was formed two years and now plans to provide fortnightly research on digital marketing excellence and insights as a form of industry benchmark.
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