Marketing budgets as a percentage of company revenue fell from 11% to 6.4% in 2021, the lowest proportion allocated to marketing in the history of Gartner's Annual CMO Spend Survey. For SEO professionals and marketing organization leaders trying to fund growth and recovery by doing more with less, revisiting your budget and available resources ahead of 2022 is essential. This column explores ten fundamental areas of digital marketing knowledge and opportunities you may want to tap into:
- Understanding Your Digital Presence - All Of It: Sure, you have a good handle on your owned media. After all, these are the pieces of content, listings and profiles, websites, and other assets you created yourself. And you had better know where and when your brand is appearing online in paid placements.
- The Fundamentals Of How Search Engines Work: SEO has evolved from a single digital marketing channel into the business intelligence nerve center of the organization. Having a firm grasp of how search engines work will help you and your team not only optimize content for discovery but also deepen your understanding of how people search, learn, and consume content, as well.
- Digital User Experience And Customer Journeys: "Build it and they will come" may have worked in Field of Dreams but it just doesn't fly in digital marketing. Succeeding in attracting an audience requires that you have a deep, meaningful understanding of who those people are and what problems you solve for them. Google knows it, too - its algorithm updates are increasingly focused on improving the experiences people are having online and removing friction in each customer's journey.
- The Fundamentals Of Competitor Analysis: The art and science of competitor analysis are evolving; in the online space, competitors may not be who you think. Yes, you're competing for "airtime" with other businesses that sell products and services like yours. But today, companies are competing against media publications, social networks and forums, map pack business listings, video and photo assets, and more.
- Content And Digital Marketing: Content is so integral to marketing's success that we're now seeing marketing agencies and brands acquire their own content studios. Two recent examples of this trend are MSQ's acquisition of creative production studio Brave Spark and Made Thought's being scooped up by WPP. You may not be in a position to build or buy an entire in-house studio. The size of your organization and the scope of your content needs will guide the best production strategy.