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Adobe's Annual Marketing Survey: The Essentials to Maturing Digitally in 2016

Maturing Digitally? Marketing isn’t what it used to be. Today, Digital Marketing is Marketing. It must be. A company will find any way possible to get its information out to those it wants to see it. Finding the best way to influence people to give the best experience. The fastest way to garner that attention is digitally.

Adobe has graced us with this survey for the past seven years. A large part of digital marketing is knowing what to prioritize and understanding the trends but always looking ahead and preparing for the future. In 2015 the survey found that having a range of options for companies and staying competitive was the standard with digital marketing. Although, still true now,in 2016 the focus for this went more in depth

Digital marketers from North America and Europe, about 735 of them, responded to the survey. They use various tactics and strategies when handling their digital marketing. No firms are created equal, each one has its similarities and differences.


Then is 2015 versus today. A person would think not much has changed but digital marketing has only grown. The differences are actually quite great. Going back a few years, digital marketing was about content and experience, companies waited for the return on this and although, however small, it was there, it became wasteful. The time came to increase what was being done. No more waiting for the return, the decision to go after it became the focus.

Mobile applications have become almost necessary and with a 27 percent increase companies are understanding the relevance. Adaptive websites have gone up 14 percent. The area that continues to grow and many people seem to appreciate without realizing it is the automation of web content which is based on you, this is up 22 percent. The more money a company has to spend the better.

Various platforms exist to give marketers the best advantage. Although not cheap by any means, these platforms combine many of the necessary tools to assist the processes for marketers. If you’re in to be the best, using a platform may be the only way to go.


As digital marketing matures marketers must follow suit. Considering a company “Advanced” in its skill set is difficult, especially when things are ever changing in this world. To be at the advanced level a company would need to be close to having all its data integrated, strong tech skills, automated, and follow best practices. In Europe the number of marketers that consider themselves advanced is only 7 percent. North America isn’t too far ahead with 19 percent. The process towards progress is slow but growing.

The three areas that are preventing a greater advancement are money, people, and resources. Marketers just don’t have the budget. The resources that are needed just aren’t available. Lastly, bodies, the people that should be testing the strategy or process just aren’t there.

Things are getting better though with time and effort. Marketers are able to separate themselves from each other and with that grow into a business they are pleased with. Who wouldn’t be happy to have a positive outlook for the future.


Data is extremely important to marketers. The more data you have the more you are heard in the digital realm. Numerous companies are using digital marketing driven by data to deliver content. Worldwide the amount is actually around a third. If you don’t have data, then you aren’t being seen or heard as much as you could be.


As Adobe completed the survey they found that there are four essential elements that are tell-tale signs of maturity. All are important and all are necessary. These elements are data-driven marketing, mobile, customer experience, and cross-channel marketing. Put these components in one business and it strengthens and grows.


Marketing to others requires data that is driven towards those specific people. Analytics becomes handy with this component. It becomes necessary to know who your audience is, why they are interested, and what they are doing.

This creates successful marketing.Companies will continue to implement more tactics to find out even more information in the years to come.

Companies are all about data-driven capabilities. Definitely seeing budget increases occurring in the coming years. Things of importance have changed for these companies and the focus is heading there, this includes predictive marketing.

Companies want you to visit their websites and use their mobile apps but that isn’t all they are after. Most companies use somewhere around 50 various tactics to modify their marketing directed at you. In the survey about 69 percent of companies said they use CRM data, even real-time based on analytics, to find out what they can about their customers.


When marketing to a customer a company wants them to have the ultimate experience to increase the interest then love of the brand. In a flash a customer can be lost and companies understand the importance so they work diligently towards preventing this. They want to build on the loyalty not destroy it in a heartbeat.

According to the survey, 92 percent of companies plan to invest in content marketing to improve it. These improvements are all for the customer. Businesses are realizing just how valuable the customer is and will be in the future. Again, this takes understanding the customers and building on them as individuals and groups that like similar things. Every single person today, for the most part and especially in the future, will have their own web experience.



Mobility has created a new world for many. Some people have become less mobile with it while others do even more. The future of mobile technology is increasing as capabilities grow. Companies want you to download their apps when you visit their websites when previously you would need a computer to have a real view and the mobile view was awful. Times truly have changed. More focus is being given to mobile sites and applications.

A computer isn’t always at hand but a smartphone is with 92 percent of users having one. Why wouldn’t a company want to focus on building a mobile application? This makes content delivery to a customer faster. Many companies plan to increase their budget when it comes to developing or improving their mobile sites and applications. This is a plus for the customers and businesses.


Marketing to customers should be done on many devices and platforms. This brings in cross-channel marketing. Every company needs to look at their marketing and how they deliver it to the customer. A company needs to go where the people are.

The channel options are innumerable but they do include website, apps, mobile, and email. These are the main channels that are focused on even though many other companies are finding even more creative ways to get their name out to customers and potential customers. Where companies cringe is when people move onto the next site, no one stays put, everyone is on the move and looking for something. This is where the retargeting takes place. The person can come back or continue to move on. Connect to the customer and they should stay. This is where analytics comes into play once again. Understanding the customer and reaching them in all channels possible.


Organizations realize that budgeting for digital marketing is at the forefront. The future is now and creating solid relationships with customers must begin somewhere…why not now? Using and developing key marketing tools is the beginning. Investing in the areas that need to improve, more companies are realizing just how important this is to the growth of their business. Want a mature digital marketing plan? Then follow these key elements.


No one said digital marketing would be easy but it’s worth it. Creating a plan that includes all elements, a company will see success when implemented correctly. Building a relationship with customers and seeing them for their worth is what it’s all about. You may learn a lot about them in the process but that’s beneficial to you and them. This creates success on the road to digital marketing maturity.

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