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Digital, marketing & eComm in Focus study in 10 charts - what we’ve learnt from the 2024 study

It’s dropped. After 6 months of preparation, we have the latest digital, marketing & eComm in Focus study in our hot little hands and we think it’s the best one yet.


So what have we learnt in 2024 about digital and marketing teams down under? Our 10 charts summary will give you the inside scoop of the biggest trends.  For those looking for the big 10 eCommerce outtakes, see them here.



1. Martech utilisation levels are low


How well do you believe your organisation leverages its MarTech? (On a scale of 1 to 5)

1 = very low utilisation of the tech and the core features & functionality it provides

14%

2 = low utilisation of the tech and the core features & functionality it provides

32%

3 = average utilisation of the tech and the core features and functionality it provides

34%

4 = semi strong utilisation of the tech and the core features and functionality it provides

17%

5 = strong utilisation of the tech and the core features & functionality it provides

2%

 Global research demonstrates MarTech utilisation has hit historic lows over recent times. As stacks have ballooned, utilisation levels have plummeted.  But how do we compare locally?


The study found that 46% of leaders described their organisations utilisation of MarTech very low or low and a further 34% were neutral on the topic.  Less than one in five therefore felt they are getting semi strong or strong levels of utilisation out of MarTech.


But why is this?


There are a myriad of reasons that contribute to low levels of utilisation, capability of teams, lack of integration and more but marTec’s law is also worth reinforcing here. marTechs law suggests the rate of technology change consistently outpaces an organisations ability to absorb the change. This is exacerbated when organisations are attempting to implement several pieces of MarTech.


martec's law

2. Privacy legislative change is coming, but too many execs are in the dark about its impact


privacy act changes
privacy act changes
privacy act changes

Despite the privacy act review commencing in 2020 and several subsequent discussion and recommendation papers released, too few executive teams have grasped the enormity of the change that will be upon them.  When marketing and digital leaders were asked if their executive group understand the importance to adapting to privacy act changes – only 38% agreed with that statement.  The size and scale of change will be significant, which means brands need to begin to assess the potential impacts and consider how they will adapt in order to be prepared for what is to come.  What’s however most important is that executive leaders reinforce the importance of change and align organisational resources to deliver on the change.



3. Lack of alignment on digital transformation at the executive level


Only 47% of of Australian marketing & digital leaders agree that their executive team are aligned and pulling in the same direction on strategic priorities for digital transformation

More than 7 in 10 marketing and digital leaders stated that their organisation were undergoing some kind of digital transformation. Of those less than half (47%) agreed that their executive team are aligned around strategic priorities for digital transformation. Those earlier on in their digital transformation journey are more likely to suggest there is a lack of alignment, but the issue doesn’t evade those who have been transforming for a while. 



4. Unified view of customer is elusive for the vast majority


unified view of the customer

 The holy grail of customer data, is the ability to build a unified view of the customer. Brands have been striving to do so for decades, but whilst technology has become more sophisticated, the number of sources of data organisations are seeking to aggregate and unify has exploded. This years study sought to quantify just how far along brands are in that journey and how many are still trying. Only 19% of brands stated they had developed a unified view of the customer, which helps explain why so many brands are investing in platforms like CDPs.



5. GenAI experimentation is high - but relatively immature use


69% of leaders stated that their team had begun experimenting with genAi but for the most part it is still early days for many, as 86% of those who had begun experimenting are doing in the content creation and generation space.


If you are experimenting with GenAI, for what purpose/s? (Select all that are relevant)


graph showing organisatoion's experimenting with genAI

6. B2B brands lack focus on data and personalisation


Whilst SaaS organisations are one of the most progressive industries, the broader B2B market is seen to lag the B2C market in terms of digital and data maturity. Whilst B2B buyer expectations are high for personalised, seamless experiences, many B2B brands aren’t leaning hard enough into building out and leveraging customer data. The study found that just over one in four B2B brands are focussed on developing their customer data strategy and better utilising their 1st party data vs 44% in the B2C space.


What are the key strategic priorities that you and your Marketing and/or Digital team are focused on tackling over the next 12 months? (Select up to 5)


 OVERALL

B2B

B2C

Driving the growth agenda for the organisation

77%

85%

71%

Driving new customer acquisition

48%

56%

56%

Building our customer data strategy and better utilising our 1st party data

42%

26%

44%

Brand development & brand purpose

36%

44%

33%

Digital transformation

36%

33%

35%

Building team capability in existing and new areas

35%

37%

38%


7.  Personalisation still missing the mark


The importance of personalisation and relevancy is not lost on brands. Countless surveys demonstrate the vital importance of it as consumers both in B2B and B2C markets. Amazon and Netflix have educated the market on how well it can be deployed, but few brands are able to meet the high expectations set by the tech giants. The study found that 59% of brands feel that their capability is lagging the market. Without the capability to deploy personalisation strategies, combined with the right foundations, personalisation will continue to be a thorn in many brands side.


How mature is your digital and/or marketing team's capability in the following areas?

 

LAGGING THE MARKET

MEETING THE MARKET

EXCEEDING THE MARKET

Personalisation

59%

36%

5%

* B2B

59%

37%

4%

* B2C

58%

33%

8%

CX management

40%

50%

10%

* B2B

52%

30%

19%

* B2C

38%

54%

8%

Online sales and lead generation

35%

49%

16%

* B2B

52%

44%

4%

* B2C

27%

54%

15%

MarTech utilisation

54%

39%

7%

* B2B

37%

52%

11%

* B2C

63%

33%

4%


8. On the job learning the training method of choice for time poor teams but is it effective?


One in two leaders pointed to a lack of time and space to train team members. The challenge is skills and capability consistently came up as a common challenge and theme throughout the entire study – inhibiting progress in MarTech, digital transformation and more.  The study found that by far on the job learning was the most commonly used training mode for teams, on average however teams are using 3.84 modes of learning. Do we have an over-reliance on on-the-job training – we believe yes. In spaces where everything is new, the time it can take to upskill on the job can be too long and costly


Which approaches are you utilising to train and develop your team? (Tick all that apply)


On-the-job learning

90%

More informal learning (lunch & learns, guest speakers)

51%

Formalised training

47%

Conferences and industry events

47%

Mentoring programs

44%

Subscriptions to publications and online learning tools

40%

Coaching

40%

Resources library (podcasts etc)

34%

Tertiary education (degrees, diplomas, etc)

8%


9. Emerging technology skills a new obvious skill gap within teams


With genAi taking centre stage, the rise of voice and extended reality seeping into the market, it is little wonder that the 2nd biggest skill gap leaders cited within their teams this year was emerging technologies. Outside of this, the usual suspects continue to rear their ugly heads – with data & analytics topping the skills gap within teams across Australia for the 4th year running. Once again commercial acumen and marketing Tech also featured prominently.


What are the biggest technical skill gaps in your team? (Select up to 5)

Data & analytics

42%

Emerging technologies (GenAI, conversational commerce, voice etc)

39%

Commercial acumen

32%

Marketing technology (MarTech) strategy & implementation

31%

Measuring performance & outcomes

31%

Digital design & development

31%

Strategic planning

26%

Personalisation & targeting

24%

CX design

23%

SEO

22%

Privacy compliance

20%


10. Customer acquisition high on the agenda as profits squeezed


In markets where growth is harder to come by, there is little wonder that new customer acquisition has become a priority for many brands as consumers trade down or out of categories and products. Nearly half (48%) of leaders stated that driving new customer acquisition is one of their top five priorities in the year ahead.


What are the key strategic priorities that you and your Marketing and/or Digital team are focused on tackling over the next 12 months? (Select up to 5)


 OVERALL

B2B

B2C

Driving the growth agenda for the organisation

77%

85%

71%

Driving new customer acquisition

48%

56%

56%

Building our customer data strategy and better utilising our 1st party data

42%

26%

44%

Brand development & brand purpose

36%

44%

33%

Digital transformation

36%

33%

35%

Building team capability in existing and new areas

35%

37%

38%

Loyalty strategy evolution/development

27%

15%

33%

Customer experience strategy & experience evolution

24%

19%

29%


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