Adobe Survey Results Point the Way to High Performance

Earlier this year, Adobe published the results of its 2014 Digital Marketing Optimization Survey. The 2014 survey received over 1,000 responses from around the globe. Sixty percent (60%) of the respondents were from North America, 27% were from Europe, and 13% were from Asia.

A primary focus of the 2014 Adobe survey was to identify what “best in class” enterprises are doing differently to drive revenue growth and improved business results. For this survey, Adobe defined “best in class” as the top 20% of companies based on conversion rate, and it segmented survey results based on this definition. The Adobe survey revealed that the average conversion rate for all surveyed companies was 2.7%, while the best in class organizations had a conversion rate of 4.5% or higher. So, best in class enterprises are converting prospects to customers at 1.7 times the average rate.

The authors of the survey report contend that best in class organizations exhibit five characteristics that separate them from average companies and explain the performance gap.

  1. They test to make decisionsSeventy percent (70%) of best in class enterprises use testing in various ways to support marketing decision-making. Only 46% of other firms in the survey use testing in their decision-making processes. The Adobe survey results also show that enterprises that use testing to optimize their decision-making increase conversion rates by 100%.
  2. The spend more on optimization activitiesBest in class enterprises are 54% more likely than other firms to be devoting more than 5% of their budgets to optimization activities such as testing and the implementation of new technologies.
  3. They believe in (and use) targeted contentBest in class enterprises are 43% more likely than other firms to be using targeted content in some form. High-performing firms recognize that using targeted content enhances content relevance and enables them to deliver more engaging customer experiences.
  4. The democratize their effortsBest in class firms are 38% more likely than other firms to involve other departments or business functions in their marketing optimization efforts.
  5. They recognize that mobile is essentialEighty-three percent (83%) of best in class enterprises say that mobile is important to their 2014 marketing efforts, compared to only 67% of other firms.

In some ways, the results of the Adobe survey aren’t all that surprising. For example, most enterprise marketers recognize that it’s important to use data, analytics, and testing to make marketing decisions, and most understand the value of targeted content. However, these results do indicate that many firms still have work to do to maximize the effectiveness of their marketing efforts.

New Accenture Research Points to Fundamental Changes in Marketing

Accenture published the findings of its 2013/14 CMO Insights survey, the fourth in a series of studies that are aimed at capturing the opinions, challenges, and points of view of senior marketing executives. The results of the 2013/14 survey are based on responses from 581 senior marketers from 11 countries and 10 distinct industries. The Accenture study primarily reflects the views of marketers in larger enterprises. Ninety-one percent (91%) of the survey respondents were from companies with at least $1 billion in annual revenues.

As you might expect, an overwhelming majority of respondents to the Accenture survey believe that the marketing world is changing rapidly, largely because of the proliferation of digital technologies and communications channels. Over three-quarters (78%) of the respondents said that marketing will change in fundamental ways over the next five years.

Accenture also asked survey participants what specific changes they expect to see in marketing over the next five years, and the table below shows how respondents ranked 10 possible changes.

New Accenture Research Points to Fundamental Changes in Marketing

The top three changes shown in the above table should not be surprising to anyone. The growing importance of data analytics, digital marketing, and mobile marketing has been widely discussed over the past few years.

I suggest that the next three changes shown in the above table may be just as profound. The changes ranked 4 and 6 would involve a dramatic shift in the core practice and function of marketing. Marketers have long used campaigns as the basis for planning and organizing marketing efforts. Today, a growing number of marketing thought leaders are contending that the campaign paradigm is becoming obsolete, largely because both consumers and business buyers now control when and how they will interact with brands. The Accenture survey results indicate that many enterprise marketers are drawing the same conclusion.

The need for a clear alignment between marketing and sales has been a hot topic in B2B marketing circles for the past few years. Several marketing thought leaders have argued that alignment does not go far enough and that many B2B companies should integrate marketing and sales to create a unified demand generation function. As the above table shows, over one-third (34%) of the respondents to the Accenture survey believe that marketing, sales, and customer service will be merged into a single business function.

In many ways, the Accenture survey confirms what we already knew – that marketing is experiencing a period of dramatic and fundamental change. At ADAM, we believe that whatever changes occur in marketing over the next few years, one thing is certain – technology will play a larger and increasingly critical role in how marketing is done.

CMO Council Research Shows That Marketers are Confident and Focused on Digital

The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council recently published the findings of its State of Marketing 2014 survey. The CMO Council’s annual “State of Marketing” assessment is designed to capture the attitudes and views of senior marketing executives around the world on a variety of issues, including marketing challenges and accomplishments, organizational priorities, plans for marketing technology investments, and the allocation of marketing budgets.

The 2014 survey generated responses from 525 CMO Council members, representing a broad range of industries, company sizes, and geographies. Forty-five percent (45%) of the respondents work at companies with more than $1 billion in annual sales, and 27% of the respondents were from companies with revenues between $101 million and $1 billion. Forty-one percent (41%) of the respondents were from B2B companies, while 23% worked at B2C companies, and 35% were from hybrid organizations. The CMO Council survey is heavily oriented toward senior marketing leaders, with more than 70% of the respondents having a vice president title or higher.

In general, the results of the 2014 survey indicate that the global marketing economy is robust and that marketing leaders are confident they can deliver expected results. Eighty-one percent (81%) of survey respondents believe that management objectives for revenue growth and market share are realistic and attainable over the next 12 months. Marketing leaders are also generally optimistic about marketing budgets. More than half (54%) of survey respondents expect their marketing budgets to increase, while 27% expect their marketing budgets to remain the same.

As might be expected, digital marketing and customer engagement were major focus areas for marketers in the CMO Council survey. More than half of the survey respondents believe they have been effective at improving their digital marketing capabilities and their engagement with customers online. The importance of digital marketing is also evidenced by where marketers are spending their marketing dollars. More than 70% of survey respondents said they are allocating between 10% and 30% of their budgets to digital marketing activities and programs.

Notwithstanding the focus on digital, marketing leaders still see significant room for improvement when it comes to digital marketing. For example, only 6% of survey respondents gave themselves an “A+” grade on digital marketing performance, while 54% said they are “getting better” at digital marketing by expanding capabilities and improving measurement.

Overall, the results of the CMO Council survey aren’t all that surprising, but the breadth and depth of the survey make it a worthwhile read for enterprise marketers.

You can download an executive summary of the survey report here, and the full report can be purchased from the CMO Council.

ADAM Will Discuss Rich Content Management at Sitecore Symposium 2014

Pieter Casneuf, ADAM Software’s CEO, will be discussing the role of rich content in delivering engaging omnichannel customer experiences at two Sitecore Symposium events that will be held later this month. The first event will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada September 8-10, and you can obtain detailed information about this event here. The second event will be held in Barcelona September 15-17. Information regarding the Barcelona event can be found here.

During the Sitecore Symposium events, Pieter Casneuf and Bart Omlo, the CEO of Hinttech, a long-time partner of both Sitecore and ADAM, will be leading a session titled Managing enterprise content (DAM/PCM) for engaging digital experiences. In their informative presentation, Pieter and Bart will discuss the critical role that rich media content plays in creating engaging customer experiences in an omnichannel world. Pieter and Bart will also explore how digital asset management systems provide content management capabilities that are essential for delivering engaging omnichannel customer experiences.

There is no longer any doubt that providing outstanding customer experiences has become essential for business success. Numerous research studies have confirmed the importance of the customer experience in creating and sustaining competitive advantage.

Today, both customers and prospects expect to find current, detailed, engaging, and relevant marketing content, whenever they want or need it, via the interaction channel of their choice. In addition, they expect information and content to be consistent across all touch points or interaction channels.

Because of heightened buyer expectations and the proliferation of customer touch points, the volume of content that enterprises must create and manage has exploded. This creates enormous challenges for enterprise marketers, particularly when you consider such issues as content review and approval processes, content versioning for local markets, and content publishing via multiple channels.

A robust DAM system helps enterprises address these challenges by providing functionality that enables the management of content at enterprise scale. An enterprise-class DAM solution will be channel agnostic and provide the ability to manage content resources in any digital format. Therefore, a capable DAM solution has the unique ability to function as the content hub that provides a central, authoritative repository for an enterprise’s customer-facing content and enables enterprises to create and deliver engaging and consistent customer experiences.

We hope you can join us in Las Vegas or Barcelona for a great symposium event.

Marketing Attributes of High-Growth Companies

Earlier this year, Accenture published the findings of its 2013/14 CMO Insights survey. The 2013/14 survey received responses from 581 senior marketers from 11 countries and 10 distinct industries. Ninety-one percent (91%) of the respondents were from companies with at least $1 billion in annual revenues, so the Accenture survey primarily reflects the views of marketers in larger enterprises.

Not surprisingly, most of the respondents to the Accenture survey believe that the marketing world is changing rapidly, largely because of the explosive growth of digital technologies and communication channels. Over three-quarters (78%) of the survey respondents said that marketing will change in fundamental ways over the next five years. In an earlier post, I discussed some of the specific changes in marketing that CMOs and other senior marketers expect to see over the coming half-decade.

In addition to looking at how marketing is changing, the Accenture survey also examined how marketing attributes and practices differed between high-growth companies and low-growth companies. The table below shows three of the attributes where the greatest gap exists between high-growth and low-growth companies.

Marketing Attributes of High-Growth Companies

As these survey results indicate, high-growth companies are much more likely than low-growth companies to use data and analytics to improve marketing performance, to recognize the strategic importance of digital marketing channels, and to provide consistent omnichannel customer experiences.

Of these three attributes/practices, none is more important for growth than providing consistent omnichannel customer experiences. Today, both consumers and business buyers expect to find (or be provided) current, detailed, engaging, and relevant marketing content, whenever they want or need it, in their own language, via the interaction channel of their choice. In addition, they expect information and content that is consistent across all touch points or interaction channels. In earlier research by Accenture (Digital Customer:  It’s time to play to win and stop playing not to lose, 2013), 58% of survey respondents said they are frustrated with inconsistent experiences from channel to channel.

The delivery of consistent and engaging omnichannel customer experiences on a real-time basis cannot be accomplished without the right marketing technology tools. To maximize the effectiveness of marketing and the quality of customer experiences, enterprises will need a tightly integrated marketing execution platform to support the creation, management, and delivery of rich marketing content.


One Key Requirement for Selecting the Right DAM Solution

Selecting the right digital asset management software is a complex decision whether you are choosing your first DAM solution or replacing a solution that no longer meets your needs. One key step in the selection process is to develop a use case that describes how you will need to use the new DAM solution.

The use case concept originated in the fields of software development and information system engineering, and use cases provide the basis for defining the functional requirements for a software application or information system. Therefore, they play a vital role in the technology selection process.

A well-prepared use case for a DAM solution will contain a significant amount of detail, but at the most basic level, it will answer three questions:

  • What kinds of content assets will the DAM solution be used to manage? 
  • Who will need to access and use the DAM solution? 
  • What activities or tasks will the DAM solution be used to perform?


Your answers to these questions will provide many of the essential criteria for evaluating prospective DAM solutions.

Every enterprise that is considering a new DAM solution should develop detailed use case scenarios based on its particular business needs and operations. However, Forrester Research has provided a good starting point. In Market Overview:  Digital Asset Management, 2014, Forrester contends that most commercial DAM solutions are designed to support one or more of six major use cases:

  • Creative group production—In this use case scenario, the DAM solution primarily supports creative professionals who are engaged in the creation of digital content assets. DAM solutions for this use case will focus mainly on creative development and print production processes.
  • High-end production—In the Forrester model, this use case refers to the development and production of high-quality video content. Therefore, until recently, this use case was primarily found in rich media industries such as media/entertainment and broadcast media. As online video content becomes a more important part of the marketing mix, we will likely see a variation of this use case in other types of enterprises.
  •  Publishing—This is one of the original use cases for digital asset management and is primarily found in industries like news, magazine, and book publishing. Forrester says that because of the specific needs of these industries, many suppliers of DAM solutions have focused heavily or exclusively on this use case.
  • Departmental marketing groups—This use case encompasses the management of “marketing assets” by small or mid-size marketing departments, groups, or teams. 
  • Enterprise marketing and customer experience—In Forrester’s taxonomy, this use case refers to organizations that have more than $1 billion in revenues and need a global DAM solution to manage all customer-facing rich content. The requirements for this use case will be significantly greater that those involved in the “departmental marketing groups” use case. Therefore, the DAM solutions that support this use case will typically provide robust capabilities for the management of rich media content in complex environments. These capabilities normally include advanced workflow/business process automation, content localization, and support for multilingual marketing.
  • General purpose, line-of-business support—This use case applies to organizations that want to use a DAM solution to store both customer-facing content resources and resources that are intended for internal audiences, such as sales enablement or support materials.

Creating detailed use cases requires some time and effort, but they can help you make better decisions regarding which DAM solution is right for your business.

Technical Presentations from ADAM Sync! Now Available

This spring, ADAM hosted our conference (what we’re now calling Sync!) for our existing customers, business partners, and potential customers. These conferences are designed to showcase how large enterprises are leveraging technology and best practices to drive improved marketing performance. Over the years, our conference has grown significantly. In 2014, we held the conference in multiple locations – Brussels, San Francisco, New York, and Chicago – and altogether we had more than 300 attendees.

This year’s general conference sessions featured speakers from Forrester Research, Teradata, Sitecore, Philips, Adidas, Meyer Corporation, GP Strategies, and Ubisoft. In addition to these sessions, Sync! 2014 also included several technical presentations relating to the latest releases of ADAM’s software solutions. These technical presentations were well-received, and several attendees asked if we could make the presentations available in a more “durable” format.

In response to these requests, we recently conducted two webinars that were based on the Sync! 2014 technical presentations, and recordings of those webinars are now available.

One webinar described the new features and capabilities provided by ADAM 5 and the ADAM Workflow and Collaboration application studios, including:

  • How to use “spaces” and “facets” to make finding and accessing content resources easier
  • How to use “collections” to organize and share content resources
  • How external marketing agencies can work in your ADAM environment
  • How to design and implement content approval workflows

You can view a recording of this webinar here.

The second webinar focused on the features and capabilities provided by ADAM Products 4.0, including:

  • How to use “widgets” to customize the Products user interface
  • How to use “panels” to control the display of product information
  • How to use “collections” to organize product information
  • How ADAM Products works with other ADAM application studios
  • How to use Products to manage the localization of product-related content

You can view a recording of this webinar here.