Content creation initiatives, along with digital marketing and social media undertakings, will take a growing share of companies’ marketing budgets within the coming year, according to a global survey of in-house communications and marketing pros released by financial PR shop Cognito.
More than half — 61 percent — of communications pros said they plan to boost investment in content creation offerings in 2018, according to the survey. A similar number — 56 percent —said they see a greater share of their budget going toward digital marketing over the next 12 months, and 54 percent said the same for social media. This was followed by digital advertising, at 48 percent.
Cognito’s findings suggest that marketing and communications pros are adapting to new technologies in a bid to keep up with the evolving media landscape. Data analytics was cited as the technological development most communicators believe will significantly impact their work over the next 12 months (79 percent), followed by marketing automation (57 percent) and mobile marketing (54 percent). An overwhelming majority of communicators polled — 83 percent — said technological disruption is the greatest challenge currently facing their marketing team.
However, despite what appears to be widespread acknowledgment of digital technology’s importance, the single biggest obstacle facing in-house communicators today, according to 86 percent of the survey’s respondents, was the challenge of securing budget and justifying spending.
In-house communicators also seem to recognize that a considerable gap remains between what communications tools their organization needs and the skillsets they believe their teams currently possess to make those objectives happen. Specifically, while most communicators said they believe their organization possesses an understanding of their target audience, as well as a confidence in their organization’s communications strategy and their ability to integrate marketing and communications activities effectively, the survey also found communicators are far less sure regarding their capabilities in the digital and social realms.
A third of communicators polled characterized their company’s in-house expertise at social media as “limited,” and 34 percent said the same in regard to their company’s digital marketing capabilities.
Only half said their company has an effective social media strategy, and only slightly more than a third — 36 percent — say their CEO has any functioning social media presence at all.
Nearly 40 percent characterized their own communications team’s marketing technology expertise as limited, and the survey found communicators have the highest levels of confidence in their teams’ abilities when it comes to traditional communications endeavors such as media relations, events and corporate communications.
Overall, 80 percent of respondents said technological adaption was a top challenge for their communications and marketing teams in the course of the next year.
Finally, the survey discovered that LinkedIn’s effectiveness at paid campaigns and targeting has caused that medium to surge in popularity among communicators, with 85 percent characterizing the job networking hub as more important to their business than it was a year ago. Google, Twitter and YouTube were also cited as important channels. On the other hand, traditional broadcast outlets, Facebook and newspapers were seen as less of a priority than previous years by 35 percent, 23 percent and 24 percent respectively.
Cognito’s second annual Communications & Marketing Survey polled 165 communications pros in September across the banking, asset management, wealth management, FinTech, insurance, technology and professional services sectors in the US, EMEA and APAC regions.