Do Marketers feel isolated from Industry Trends?

It’s no secret that the marketing world is changing. With digital channels reaching ever more consumers, more online ad and marketing formats being created to help reach them, and more measurability offered to marketers to justify the budgets they are devoting to new tactics, practitioners must stay abreast of a steady stream of new trends.

Research from branding firm Mechanica and Fast Company found that, while many marketing decision-makers see these trends affecting the broader industry, not so many think their own organizations are feeling the same impact. Most starkly, 70% agreed that the rise of social media mattered for the industry, but just 49% said it had influenced their own companies.

Large gaps were also seen in the importance of media fragmentation, the splintering of target audiences and diminishing advertising returns. While every trend is not likely to affect every company, if marketers are overconfident—or just overly comfortable—they risk important changes passing them by.

Part of the problem may be a lack of results. The largest gap in perception was around social media, and the same survey found that less than half of respondents thought social monitoring had proved its effectiveness. Many other recent digital marketing trends suffer the same problem—while most marketers are not ready to say they don’t work at all, the proof that they do is not yet there.

Ultimately, the existence of gaps in perception among marketers between the wider world and their own organizations does point to one strong possibility: that the effects of the technologies and tactics studied are only beginning to emerge.

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