33% of US Marketers Expect Budgets to Rise; Mobile Devices & Networks Will Have Biggest Impact on Marketing

ExchangeWire Research’s weekly roundup brings you up-to-date research findings from around the world, with additional insight provided by Rebecca Muir, head of research and analysis, ExchangeWire. In this week’s edition: Marketing budgets to rise; Customer experience rules; and UK retailers have best mobile apps.

33% of US marketers expect budgets to rise

The AMA and Millward Brown Vermeer have conducted the first quarterly Marketers Confidence Index. The study reveals that marketers are optimistic when it comes to customer spending and ad spend in the future.

Of the surveyed marketers, 40% said that customer spending increased over the past six months. And the future is expected to be even better: 39% of marketers expect customer spending to rise.

With growing marketing spends, comes more influence in-house: 64% marketers believe their power and influence within their organisations will increase over the next few years, helped by the increasing use of technology innovations and analytics that enable closer customer relationships, micro-targeting, and improved measurement capabilities.

"We know that organisational confidence is a strong predictor of performance”, says Russ Klein, CEO, AMA. “The results of this inaugural release, combined with other learnings, would suggest that customer-centric firms, when also displaying high levels of marketing confidence, are poised for growth."

However, the study also identified challenges that marketers will have to face in the future. Less than half of the respondents (41%) said that their organisations have clear and well-understood strategies in place to be competitive. And only one-third of the respondents feel that their company has the right staff, structure, processes, and tools in place to be competitive.

The overall score of the index came in at 121 – with 100 as the neutral mark.

Mobile devices and networks will rule marketing

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), on behalf of Marketo, have surveyed 500 CMOs and senior marketing executives from around the world for a report titled, 'The Path to 2020: Marketers Seize the Customer Experience'. The finding: 90% of European marketers say they will own the end-to-end customer experience by 2020 – if they keep up with technology and customer demand, the study points out.

The study found that both small/medium-sized and large European firms prefer a strategy that capitalises on a personalised customer experience and dialogue, rather than repeated exposure to mass advertising.

Marketo Economist technology trendsThe respondents identified three technology trends that will have the biggest impact on marketing organisations in the future. Of the surveyed marketing experts, 59% expect mobile devices and networks to influence marketing, as well as personalisation (45%), and the Internet of Things (39%).

Customer experience is a central concern for marketers: 90% of European respondents believe they will own the customer experience in their organisations by 2020, up from 79% who believe that today.

Marketing is seen as a revenue driver by 85% of European marketers, and especially small- and medium-sized organisations are aggressively following this strategy; with 94% of respondents expecting the marketing department to grow revenue by 2020, up from 87% today.

To do so, European companies are focussing on employing the right people, and on using data. By 2020, the top two objectives for European firms include having the right mix of creative and technical talent (49%), and having a single source of customer data across channels (44%).

UK retailers offer best mobile shopping experiences

Applications for iPhone, iPad and Android are still neglected by leading retailers. An international study by Episerver reveals that 44% of leading retailers do not offer an iPhone app, neglecting to keep their business at the forefront of their customers’ minds.

iPad-compatible applications are even less common than iPhone apps – just over half (54%) of the benchmarked companies provide an iPad app. And despite a larger market share, Android tablet support ranks even lower, as 63% of the retailers do not provide apps optimised for Android tablets but rely on mobile-compatible websites.

“It’s surprising to see just how many of the world’s top retailers are failing to make the jump to a mobile-first approach”, comments David Bowen, director of product management, Episerver. “While mobile and responsive web design should be a retailer’s first priority, given that web is more often a consumer’s first port of call, mobile apps are playing an increasingly dominant role in the customer journey.”

For the study, Episerver benchmarked one hundred leading retailers around the world. Among the top 10 mobile-conscious retailers are four UK companies, led by John Lewis, and followed by Argos, Expedia, and Amazon UK at number 4, 5, and 7 respectively.