Skills and measurement are key gaps for nearly half of advertisers, while some are already preparing for the arrival of Web3

The pandemic has resulted in improved digital marketing capabilities. But driving growth in the digital age brings new complexities and marketing needs. 

State of the Industry 2022: Modern Marketing in EMEA, a report released recently by WARC, the global authority on effective marketing, in association with the MMA, the world’s leading non-profit trade association architecting the future of marketing, provides a current snapshot into how the industry is driving growth, and offers takeaways for marketers, agencies and media owners for the challenges arising from current trends and highlights future opportunities.

The annual study is based on an online survey, conducted by WARC in association with MMA EMEA, with more than 700 marketing professionals taking part – a mix of client-side, agency, media owner and technology vendor marketers. The survey was carried across EMEA in May and June 2022.

State of the Industry 2022: Modern marketing in EMEA highlights the following key insights:

1. The pandemic has resulted in improved digital marketing capabilities for a majority (70%) of businesses.

2. Data is a key building-block in digital marketing strategies and is being leveraged widely to drive improvements in marketing. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of respondents say their marketing strategy is now driven by insights derived from consumer data.

3. Over a third (38%) of marketing professionals are preparing for the advancement of Web3 while nearly half (44%) expect the metaverse to impact marketing within five years.

4.Despite brand awareness and generating sales being two key priorities in digital marketing, marketers are not always using metrics that enable them to measure brand and business outcomes. Metrics most used include engagement (68%), business (54%) and attitudinal (30%). 

5. Audio and gaming are untapped opportunities for marketers, receiving a fraction of the overall marketing budget compared to other channels. Audio receives just 4% of digital advertising budgets and gaming a mere 3%, despite both being highlighted as consumer behaviours expected to significantly impact marketing.

6. Multiscreening (cited by 53% of respondents) and watching video (50%) are recognised as the most significant consumer behaviours for marketing.

7. Driving personalisation, AI and machine learning is the technology expected to have the most impact on marketing over the next five years, cited by 53% of the survey respondents, up from 49% in 2021.

8. Skills (41%) and measurement (39%) are recognised as key barriers to growth in marketing across the EMEA region.

Summing up, Paul Stringer, Managing Editor, WARC, said: “As a result of the pandemic, we observe a general improvement in organisations’ digital capabilities. However, measurement and skills’ gaps are clear areas of concern for the industry.” 

“It is also interesting to observe marketing professionals say they are preparing for the advancement of Web3, which promises to open up new creative and commercial opportunities for brands” 

Chris Babayode, MD, MMA EMEA, commented: “In these challenging times, it’s particularly gratifying to be able to provide insights and science backed truths as to how and where the marketing community can drive their future growth. One significant takeaway we found was that data is a key building-block in digital marketing strategies and is being leveraged widely to drive improvements in marketing.”

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