Adobe has just released its first Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing for 2013. It’s full of loads of interesting data, collected by Adobe and Ecoconsultancy. I strongly recommend downloading the report or at the very least taking a look at the infographic.
Whether you read the briefing or not, here are (in my opinion) respectively the three most obvious, interesting and alarming findings to come out of the report:
1. Content is at the centre of the digital universe
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There’s never been a better time to be in the content marketing game if you believe the data in Adobe’s latest briefing. This is good news for me, and it can be good news for you too (even if creating quality content isn’t your strong suit).
Content marketing notably increased in its significance to marketers in the year since Adobe last conducted a similar study.
But while both agencies and client-side suppliers agree that content marketing (and optimisation) are of the utmost importance, only 18% of companies believe they have the ‘marketing tech’ to produce quality content.
So? I bet your company probably doesn’t have cleaning tech, courier tech or catering tech either. All are essential aspects of operating a business today, and all are (usually) outsourced to specialist companies.
Why should your content be any different? If content truly is the centre of the digital universe you can’t ignore it simply because you lack the in-house talent. Either hire it or look to content marketing companies like Edge to produce it for you (sorry about the blatant sell for my company there!)
2. Social media is still shiny
Despite the marketers surveyed considering social media engagement to be substantially less exciting and a lower priority than it was in 2012, social media’s relative ‘newness’ means it’s still considered important.
And even though social media has now existed long enough to be considered ‘business as usual’ for many companies, it’s still a force to be reckoned with – which makes my next point even more worrying.
3. Social media analytics aren’t a focus
At least that’s what most marketers believe, according to the stats in Adobe’s Digital Intelligence Briefing.
Across the board social media analytics dropped 5-10% in terms of how exciting or how much of a priority it is.
According to Adobe, marketing organisations understand the importance of the exciting opportunities presented by targeting and personalisation, but thus far most have failed to capitalise on it.
Analysing your social activity properly has a high impact on ROI and it’s your ticket to understanding the consumer mind and building trust by consistently delivering relevant content.
It’s no simple task though. According to Adobe the most common obstacles to effectively analysing social media activity are:
- A data overload.
- Difficulty distinguishing between positive, negative and neutral references, because of social media’s incidental nature.
- A lack of in-house talent when it comes to asking the right questions and testing correlative versus causal relationships.
The upshot is that the art of personalised digital marketing has yet to be perfected. In fact, it’s a long way off. But it’s never too early to recognise the importance of social media analytics in helping you craft personalised, engaging content.
So what does that mean for marketers?
Well, the big challenge is linking everything together. Marketers know they need to create engaging content across multiple channels. They know they need strong on and offline data, and joined up analysis of that data, in order to deliver the right content, and optimise their activity.
They know this, but it doesn’t make the task any less daunting. The winners in 2013 will be the marketers that can achieve this holy grail.
There’s so much more to discover in Adobe’s Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing. It’s essential reading for the digital marketer. Download the briefing and give it a look, you’re bound to learn something.
Richard Parker is the head of digital at strategic content agency Edge, where he has experience working with leading brands including Woolworths, St George and Foxtel. He previously spent 12 years in the UK, first at Story Worldwide then as the co-owner and strategic director of marketing agency Better Things.