Increasing engagement among consumers is among the most challenging barriers to success in digital campaigns, according to 49% of digital marketers, followed by measurability (47%) and customer acquisition (46%).
The Ascend2 2019 Digital Marketing Strategies Survey found that marketers now consider higher sales (64%) among their top priorities for 2019. Customer acquisition (55%) and engagement (49%) ranked second and third on marketers’ lists of importance.
In a direct comparison, the success barrier of measurability still far outweighed its priority status.
As marketers are seeking to refine their digital strategies, budgets are increasing accordingly. Indeed, 64% of marketing influencers plan to marginally increase budgets in 2019, whilst 24% will increase them significantly. Just 12% said that budgets would decrease.
When it comes to the most effective online tactics marketers are now using as part of their digital marketing strategies, 58% said that content marketing was at the top of their list. Search engine optimisation (50%) also ranked high. Surprisingly, social media marketing was found to be less of an effective tactic (30%).
At the same time, marketers admit that some marketing tactics are more difficult to achieve than others. That includes data-driven personalisation (63%), content marketing (49%) and also marketing technologies (41%).
However, the more difficult the marketing tactics are, the more likely marketers are to outsource them. 69% of respondents said they used both in-house and outsourced resources. Just 18% used solely in-house resources, whilst 13% preferred to outsource completely.
The results of the survey highlight that despite advances in advertising technologies and exciting new opportunities to reach consumers, mobile and digital marketers are still facing considerable challenges, particularly when it comes to personalisation.