Trends in marketing investments: LinkedIn starts to establish status?

Much like other industries, technology and automation keeps changing the traditional rules in the marketing and communications industry.

But how have marketers and leaders been seeing and responding to the technological and structural changes? A recent report from Cognito finds answers by looking specifically into financial services. In September 2017, the company surveyed 165 marketing and communication leaders across multiple sectors including banking, asset management, wealth management, FinTech, insurance, technology and professional services across the US, EMEA and APAC regions, to learn their views.

The results are three-fold.

79% consider data analytics to have highest impact over coming 12 months, followed by marketing automation

Over the coming 12 months, respondents identified securing budget or investment (86%), adaption to disruption (83%) and adaption to technology (80%) as challenges for their communications and marketing teams. The survey shows that the growing need to justify spend and optimise ROI is driving investment in smart measurement and analysis. Specifically, 79% considered data analytics as the technological development with the highest impact over the next year, followed by marketing automation (57%). The potential impact on marketing and communications from technologies such as AI and machine learning are likely to be hard and fast, although less immediate.

61% view content creation as the biggest budget growth area followed by investment in digital channels, yet skills gap remains

The 2016 survey found that only 18% of respondents were happy with the quality of their content, and consequently, 61% of this year's respondents see content creation as the top budget winner for 2018. Digital channels - digital marketing (56%), social media (54%) and digital advertising (48%) - to push targeted content were the other budget growth areas. However, the skills gap remains with the top areas of weakness dominated by digital, from social media or marketing technology to digital marketing and advertising.

85% see LinkedIn growing in importance

85% believe LinkedIn is becoming more important to their business due to the effectiveness of paid campaigns and targeting. However, in today's volatile geopolitical and economic environment, major financial media also saw growth in importance as communicators turn to media with integrity and credibility to communicate their message and position. At the other end, broadcast channels and generalist newspapers, both suffered a decrease in importance. Facebook (25%) and Instagram (22%) only saw minority growth in importance suggesting that most B2B financial services businesses are yet to fully embrace them.