Adobe conducted a survey on digital marketers in 2016 to find out their priorities and challenges. The survey had some interesting finds. Digital marketing is becoming more advanced and widely adopted than ever. How do you stack up against your competition? Find out in the stats below.

Digital Maturity

Adobe had marketers rank their digital maturity in one of four categories: Advanced, Focused, Emergent, and Nonexistent. Their definitions are as follows:

  • Advanced: Data mostly integrated, best practices generally followed, automation common, strong technical skills.
  • Focused: Data and processes somewhat integrated, automation common, solid and expanding technical skills.
  • Emergent: Basic data integration, some automation, growing technical capacity.
  • Nonexistent: Limited data in silos, no automation, low technical capacity.

Only 19% ranked themselves as advanced; however more rated themselves as focused (39%) than they did emergent (38%). Very few ranked themselves as nonexistent (4%). Clearly, with 58% ranking themselves as advanced or focused, most digital marketers are finding themselves on the higher end of digital maturity. If you would define your company as emergent or nonexistent, you’re lagging behind the majority.


Areas where digital marketers plan to make budget increases:

  • Mobile (48%)
  • Analytics (47%)
  • Optimization (43%)
  • Social Marketing (42%)
  • Content Management (41%)

Mobile marketing and marketing analytics are major priorities for digital marketers and it makes sense. Users are increasingly preferring mobile over desktops, and marketing analytics allows marketers to better understand their customers.


How are digitally advanced companies using data?

  • 58% use real-time data to augment data-driven marketing efforts.
  • 58% use integration of analytics across web, mobile web, and mobile app channels.
  • 66% use advanced segmentation to augment data-driven efforts.
  • 48% are using predictive analytics; and 65% plan to.

Interpreting data doesn’t seem to be enough anymore. In the coming years, predictive analytics will increase in importance. It’s also crucial to use data from multiple channels.


Personalized content is becoming increasingly common.

  • Automating personalized content from the web went up by 22%, from 24% to 46%.
  • The personalization automation saw an even greater jump in mobile (23%), from 16% to 39%.
  • Of digitally advanced companies, 68% automate personalization on web and 62% on mobile.
  • 91% of digitally advanced companies have found that automation has improved website KPIs.

Personalization seems like a priority to the more mature digital companies, but it has huge pays off. As stated before, 91% of digitally advanced companies using automation found an increase in KPI.


The greatest obstacles of digital marketing are as follows:

  1. Resource Availability: 41% consider this obstacle very challenging and 43% found it somewhat challenging.
  2. Budget: 40% found budget limitations to be very challenging; 38% found it somewhat challenging.
  3. Staffing: 37% that finding the right digital marketing employees can be very challenging; 43% said it was somewhat.

People and tools seem to make up digital marketing’s greatest challenges. Without the right team, it’s difficult to have a successful digital marketing program; however, without the money to access the right resources, it can make that job very difficult.

How does your organization compare?

How does your company’s digital marketing program compare to others? A couple questions to ask:

  • Are you leading the pack in digital maturity or lagging?
  • Are you investing in analytics or automation?
  • Do you face similar challenges that your peers do?

Take a step back and look at what your fellow marketers are doing; this is the future of marketing, and you’ll want to keep up as you move forward.