Online Marketing Part of the Strategy in Europe

Nearly half of European marketers are engaged in online marketing as part of their marketing strategy, according to a DoubleClick study, and they’re most likely to be involved in email marketing.

DoubleClick’s European Digital Marketing Study, which surveyed marketers in France, Germany, Italy, Scandinavia, Spain and Britain, was conducted by Ecom Interaction and Benchmark research. It found that marketers in Britain (73 percent) and Spain (66 percent) are ahead of the pack in their use of online marketing.

Thirty-one percent of European marketers participate in email marketing, while 27 percent are engaging in targeted banner advertising. In Britain, 58 percent of marketers use email marketing and 50 percent participate in targeted banner advertising. In Spain, 54 percent of marketers engage in email marketing and 37 percent engage in targeted banner advertising. France is the only country citing higher usage of targeted banner advertising (10 percent) vs. email marketing (9 percent).

Marketers in Europe tend to take advantage of in-house resources for managing their online campaigns rather than outsourcing this responsibility to an agency. Thirty-nine percent of European marketers manage their online campaigns in-house, while 21 percent of marketers rely on an agency. Twenty-four percent of European marketers cite using in-house resources in conjunction with an agency. Spanish (59 percent) and Italian (32 percent) marketers rely on in-house resources more heavily than an agency.

Thirty-three percent of European marketers plan to spend 15 percent or more of their total budget on online marketing this year. Comparatively, only 22 percent of European marketers spent 15 percent or more of their total budget on online marketing last year.

Almost half (49 percent) of U.K. marketers; 38 percent of Spanish marketers; and 39 percent of Scandinavian marketers plan to spend 15 percent or more of their total budget on online marketing this year.

As more European marketers become comfortable with online marketing and learn to judge their return on investment (ROI), it’s likely more dollars will be earmarked for online campaigns. According to an Accenture study, nearly three-quarters of the marketing executives in the United States and Britain said that their company is unable to measure a marketing campaign’s ROI.

In fact, 70 percent of the executives said they continue to have trouble capturing the attention of customers and 65 percent are struggling to integrate and share customer data across the organization (Web, call centers, etc.) in order to develop a single view of the customer. Other challenges frequently encountered by a large percentage of marketers include measuring the return on their marketing investments due to shortcomings in a companys ability to integrate its sales, marketing and customer service tools.

While input from interviewees was largely consistent between those in the United States and Britain, establishing a single view of the customer and measuring campaign ROI were viewed as much more of a problem in Britain than in the United States.

The Accenture study also sheds light on what marketing heads consider their most pressing needs. These include access to more accurate and fresher data (68 percent), integration between the numerous customer touch points (67 percent), better overall customer strategy (67 percent) and more collaboration, both within the function and with the sales and customer service departments (59 percent).

“Customers are becoming less loyal to brands. They use new sources of information to build impressions and make decisions in buying a product or service. Yet marketing executives are not equipped with the tools they need to keep up with the changing customer expectations, achieve greater share of wallet and maximize the lifetime value of customers,” said Pat O’Halloran, partner at Accenture’s Customer Relationship Management practice. “Marketing executives need the right information at the right time to be more responsive to ever changing customer behavior.”

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