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Digital Continues to Lure Marketers

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Irish marketers will invest more in 2018, with digital channels being the main beneficiaries according to the latest Marketing Sentiment Survey carried out by MediaCom in association with the Irish Times and the Marketing Institute of Ireland.

Over one third of companies in Ireland say that they plan to increase their spend on marketing in the year ahead, according to a new survey of key marketing decision-makers by MediaCom Ireland, The Irish Times and the Marketing Institute of Ireland.

The Marketing Sentiment Survey captures the views of the people with direct involvement in marketing budgets, across a range of industries and different company sizes.

According to Ian Mc Grath, managing director of MediaCom Ireland: “This research takes the pulse of our industry. The survey calls out a number of challenges facing Irish marketers in 2018, from widening talent gaps, proving effectiveness and the impeding disruptions of GDPR and Brexit. The results show us that Irish marketers are willing to confront these challenges and there is more confidence in the marketplace this year.”

Digital channels will be the main beneficiaries of this upswing in confidence and marketing spend with e-commerce cited as the top area for further marketing investment (48%). And the top 5 advertising channels that will receive additional budget in 2018 are all digital and include social media (49%), content marketing (28%), search (25%), digital video (24%) and online display (24%).

Though businesses are willing to invest more in digital marketing, their concerns over the safety of online environments have grown, with 73% now worried about online brand safety, and 87% saying it is important to advertise with trusted media organisations.

Businesses’ focus on digital is coming at the expense of other marketing channels, which is potentially creating a two-lane marketplace, with digital in the fastlane. This poses a risk to traditional media companies and one that they need to close through further investment in data, research and audience understanding.

“It is good to see that the overall marketing sentiment is positive. However recent forecasts for the media market indicate sluggish growth relative to the rest of the economy in 2018. Our own analysis also indicates that Irish businesses tend to invest less in marketing. On average the Irish companies in our survey invest 8% of revenue on marketing activities compared to 12% internationally. This doesn’t make sense, particularly given Ireland’s current economic performance,” says Mc Grath.

Now in its second year, this research was conducted for MediaCom Ireland by iReach using its online panel of business people across small, medium and large enterprises, as well the MII’s membership database. The primary results from this survey are based on 249 individuals with direct involvement in marketing budgets, across a range of different industry and service sectors, as well as governmental and semi-state organisations.

10 Key Takeaways from this year’s Marketing Sentiment Survey

1SPENDING PLANS:

Over 1 in 3 marketing decision–makers plan to invest more in marketing in 2018.

2ANNUAL REVENUE SPENT ON MARKETING:

8% is the average percentage of annual revenue spent on marketing, up from 7% in 2017. This is higher for larger companies, but still lags behind other international markets.

3THE TOP THREE AREAS FOR FURTHER INVESTMENT:

48% plan to invest more in ecommerce or their website, 30% in advertising and 25% in PR and communications.

4THE TOP 5 CHANNELS FOR FURTHER INVESTMENT ARE DIGITAL:

49% will invest more in social media, 28% in content marketing, 25% in search, 24% in digital video and 24% in online display / programmatic.

5DRIVING AWARENESS REMAINS TOP PRIORITY:

The top priorities are increasing brand awareness (49%), using social media to drive engagement / sales (33%) and expanding into new markets (32%).

6THE BREXIT FALLOUT:

1 in 5 marketing decision–makers say Brexit had a negative impact on plans in 2017. This rises to almost 30% who believe it will have a negative impact in 2018.

7TRUSTED ENVIRONMENTS ARE TOP OF MIND:

73% are concerned about the content their digital advertising appears alongside and 87% believe it is important to advertise with trusted media organisations.

8UNDERSTANDING OF GDPR:

30% of marketing decision–makers still don’t understand the implications that GDPR will have on their business.

9LIVE STREAMING AND AR:

Are the two tech innovations that marketers are most likely to get behind in 2018. With 32% planning to use Live Streaming as part of their marketing in 2018.

10THE INCREASINGLY COMPLEX ROLES OF THE CMO:

Being a leader was cited as the most important role that the CMO must play to be successful in 2018, as it is marketing that will drive a company to growth and the job of CMO is to lead this.

First published in Irish Marketing Journal (IMJ February 2018)© to order back issues please call 016611660