With half of the year already behind us, many companies who purchased technologies in Q1 have been able to evaluate the return on those spends as well as better understand where business pains still lie. Right now, there is time for companies to purchase products and services that can still impact their 2017 numbers.
As we did in Q1, RainKing wanted a better understanding of the tech landscape in Q2 2017: where companies and organizations are feeling pain and where technology budget dollars are being spent. So, our Research Department conducted multiple technology category-themed surveys in Marketing, Business Intelligence, Enterprise Applications, Network, Storage, and Security. We asked business professionals who work in these sectors at companies spanning all different industries, sizes, and revenue bands, to indicate the pains they experienced as well as any new spending (as opposed to maintenance or recurring spending) made throughout April, May, and June of this year.
In our full report we have graphed all of the results and compared them to results from the same survey conducted a year ago in Q2 2016. We then shed a little light on the top five most commons responses for pain and spending within each category with help from our CTO, Dennis Arndt.
Q2 2017 Marketing Trends
Top 5 Marketing Pains
- Inaccurate Data (+7% YoY) — Bad data is expensive. It sucks up precious time and resources, increasing bounce backs and bad addresses, decreasing efficiency, and ultimately not reaching potential prospects—leaving money on the table. Over the past year, the number of Marketers plagued by bad data has hovered around 50%. However, that number has shot up to 57% in Q2, indicating the issue of bad data is only spreading. Sales and marketing intelligence solutions like RainKing are increasingly being used to manage data hygiene initiatives.
- Inconsistent, Multi-Channel Customer Experience (+7% YoY) — In a world where people can access information on-demand and through a variety of channels, there is a need for a consistent user experience across all platforms. As consumer expectations for a consistent and seamless omni-channel experience grow, it is becoming a larger pain for marketers to deliver it and get it right.
- Tracking Digital Marketing/Advertising Efforts (+/- 0 YoY) — As more and more Marketers spend budget dollars on Digital Ads, they’re finding that actually tracking these ads across multiple channels and sites, and calculating the ROI via clicks, conversions, site visits, etc. to be difficult.
- Effectiveness of Email Marketing Efforts (+5% YoY) — Almost every company and organization has email marketing as a part of their overall strategy and it is often the most effective channel for growing revenue. However, the sheer number of emails received every single day makes it hard to stand out in a crowd of bolded titles. This lack of engagement makes it difficult to gauge how effective this tactic is. Moreover, firewalls and SPAM filters are catching more and more marketing and promotional emails, greatly affecting deliverability rates.
- Lack of Engagement with Content (+3% YoY) — There are only so many hours in the day and considering new content is published on the internet every second, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to even reach prospects let alone have them successfully engage with a blog, article, infographic, etc. This usually leads to upping the content game, writing better thought leadership and more engaging content—most likely why ‘Content Management’ is a pain point for over 1/3 of Marketers.
Top 5 Marketing Spends
- Digital Advertising Solutions (+3% YoY) — Like in Q1 2017, Digital Advertising Solutions were the most common spend for Marketers. This includes Google Ad Words, LinkedIn advertising, Facebook advertising, remarketing efforts, and targeting efforts. Marketers use digital advertising to ensure exposure among their target demographic. With a few clicks, ads can be set and their effects measured, whereas content marketing takes longer to implement and to measure the ROI. Increases in investment highlight the importance of driving business growth for Marketers.
- Customer Experience Solutions (-1% YoY) — Increased capabilities among devices – or a lack of differentiation – means the same task can typically be executed on a smartphone as easily as on a laptop. This has led to the expectation of a consistent omni-channel experience and thus, a focus on Customer Experience Solutions.
- Content Management Solutions (+2% YoY) — While excellent content is often used to pique the interest of potential prospects, the benefits extend beyond more prospects: it also simultaneously helps to legitimize a company within the marketplace and improves the customer experience as well. However, good content is hard to come up with, let alone execute, optimize, and promote properly to make an impact (increasing brand awareness and bringing visitors to the site). Content Management Solutions help with all of this. For these reasons, Content Management Solutions is a Top 5 spend and investments in content continue to rise.
- CRM Software (+2% YoY) — CRM Software is practically a necessity for companies and organizations both large and small these days. CRM’s help companies maintain a level of consistent engagement with their many clients and prospects. This helps companies stay top of mind as well as increase client retention. Because they are so critical, improvements in CRM require continued investment and the market for CRM systems has not been fully penetrated among mid-size businesses.
- Lead Generation (+2% YoY) — Many businesses concentrate heavily on finding new business. Enter Lead Generation Solutions which cover a broad range of tactics, but each tactic is focused on driving growth. Some tactics come in the form of simple lists, helping to identify contacts to engage with by job title or industry. Other, more sophisticated solutions like sales and marketing intelligence can narrow down who to talk to and when, with insight into their pain points, upcoming spending initiatives, and more. It’s a great way to get a leg up on the competition.
- Additional Info to Note — The percentage of Marketers spending budget dollars on SEO solutions dropped (-6%) from Q2 2016 to Q2 2017 while more Marketers (+6%) are spending on email automation software, year over year.
RainKing will continue to follow technology pain and spending throughout the year, so be sure to check back after Q3 for new trends and insights.
Data and analysis by RainKing Analytics