… they’re both all about being mobile. That’s what Marin Software found (more or less) when they surveyed 500 digital marketing managers from the world’s top agencies and brands. In their 2017 State of Digital Advertising report, Marin asked these marketers what trends, opportunities, and challenges they face in 2017.
From mobile ad spend to lags in expertise and what the future of digital marketing holds, they uncovered insights that are sure to drive the field forward (and up, like a billionaire’s car doors) this year and beyond.
Budgets Migrating to Mobile
Did you know that the average mobile user unlocks their phone 150 times every day? Marin reports that 70% of respondents are actively advertising on search and social, and budgets are shifting to meet that demand.
43% of their surveyed marketers indicated that they believe their mobile budgets around search marketing investment will increase between 10% and 30% in 2017. An additional 34% of marketers plan to increase their mobile budgets by more than 30%. And when it comes to social, 70% of marketers plan to increase their advertising budget. Not a huge surprise, says Marin, given that Facebook eclipsed Google in gross traffic for the first time ever in 2016.
70% of marketers plan to increase their social advertising budget
Lack of Expertise
Because search and social are experiencing such growth and change, marketers indicated that it’s tough to stay at the top of their game. When asked to list the biggest challenges associated with delivering ROI from paid search, respondents listed: 1. Difficulty replicating campaigns across Google, Bing, Yahoo or other search providers (37%), 2. Lack of support for investing in paid search (31%), and 3. Lower conversion rates compared to other forms of advertising (25%).
Marin addressed a few solutions for those top challenges. For “difficulty replicating campaigns,” they suggested investing in tools that import and continually sync Google AdWords campaigns. Regarding “lack of support for investing in paid search,” they recommended highlighting strong returns with limited risk, using past data to prove that customers use search engines to find your product. And finally, for “low conversion rates,” Marin made the case for pre-click optimization to keep the focus on the continual testing of your targeting, message, and advertising bids.
What’s Hot in 2017 and Beyond?
Are we really surprised that high-quality content was listed as homecoming queen here? In Marin’s survey, 42% of marketers said “content marketing” was their top priority in 2017. Closing out the top three were “search marketing,” with 39% of the vote, and “social media,” with 30%.
The ability of consumers to price-check whenever they wish, ship items home, and more reveal the direct need for marketers to provide consumers with the right content at the right time. Marin notes this as a double-edged sword for marketers who find equal footing on mobile, while confronting increased competition to create rich content for consumers.
Still Too New
Surveyed marketers called voice search and virtual reality still too new to be a real priority in 2017. However, with Search Engine Land stating that “60% of smartphone users who use voice search have begun using it within the past year,” Marin suggests paying close attention to the impact these new technologies are having on the digital landscape.