European Marketers Face Digital Roadblocks on Path to Reinvention

Any­one watch­ing the sixth and final sea­son of “Mad Men” may have seen Adobe’s “Click, Baby, Click” com­mer­cial dur­ing pro­gram breaks. I love this satire and what it rep­re­sents: a lega­cy leader stuck in its ways, and not accu­rate­ly cap­tur­ing or digest­ing cus­tomer ana­lyt­ics in a big way.

This per­spec­tive is spot on — and the clip is well-placed among the “Mad Men” TV series. We tru­ly are see­ing “mad men” being replaced by “math men” — by data czars, social sci­en­tists and dig­i­tal cura­tors all focused on “last mil­lisec­ond” trans­ac­tions in marketing’s dig­i­tal age. The three-mar­ti­ni lunch is being replaced by the ad exchange and mar­ket­ing itself has, indeed, been com­plete­ly reinvented.

Rein­ven­tion is the name of the game at Adobe Sum­mit EMEA as we took to the main stage in this afternoon’s keynote ses­sion. And beyond just the mar­ket­ing indus­try, brands, teams, restau­rants, news orga­ni­za­tions and more are rein­vent­ing them­selves every day in order to keep up with the world’s rapid change.

But we didn’t want to just talk about rein­ven­tion with the 3,800 mar­keters at Adobe Sum­mit 2014 — we want­ed to ask them per­son­al­ly about their own obsta­cles in the dig­i­tal age.

After speak­ing with hun­dreds of mar­keters across the UK and Europe, Adobe released today Dig­i­tal Road­block: Mar­keters Strug­gle to Rein­vent Them­selves, Euro­pean Edi­tion, which reveals a major dis­cus­sion point that Euro­pean mar­keters know they need to rein­vent them­selves but don’t quite know how. In fact, 73% of Euro­pean mar­keters see the need to rein­vent in order to suc­ceed, but lay the blame on their employ­ers as the bar­ri­er in becom­ing the mar­keter they aspire to be. Over half (58%) of Euro­pean mar­keters say that mar­ket­ing suc­cess is depen­dent on orga­ni­za­tion­al change, while oth­er per­ceived obsta­cles in Europe include a lack of train­ing in new skills (30%), con­fu­sion over roles and respon­si­bil­i­ties (30%) and com­pa­ny resis­tance to try­ing new pro­grams (30%).

Digital Roadblock 1

The study also con­firms that Euro­pean mar­keters are expe­ri­enc­ing rapid change. More than two-thirds of mar­keters believe the indus­try has changed more in the past 2 years than in the last 50, and more than half (54%) of mar­keters expect their own roles to change in the next year.

Digital Roadblock 2

But what’s most inter­est­ing to me, is that the sur­vey results show we still require a greater sense of urgency — or maybe we’re still in search of inspi­ra­tion — when it comes to our own per­son­al change. In ask­ing respon­dents what an “ide­al mar­keter” would be, almost half said the “ide­al mar­keter” should take more risks, yet only 30% char­ac­ter­ized them­selves as real risk tak­ers. And even though three-quar­ters of mar­keters said they know they need to rein­vent them­selves to suc­ceed, 60% still want to con­sid­er their cur­rent pro­fes­sion­al trajectory.

This is some seri­ous dig­i­tal distress!

Digital Roadblock 3

The good news is that as an indus­try, we’re see­ing the need for change and are ready to embrace it; now, it’s just a mat­ter of div­ing in. Today and tomor­row at Sum­mit EMEA, we look for­ward to talk­ing amongst mar­keters about their own dig­i­tal road­blocks to rein­ven­tion, and hope to pro­vide tan­gi­ble exam­ples of oth­ers’ own rein­ven­tion jour­neys through inspi­ra­tional keynotes with Gas­ton Legor­bu­ru, Jez Framp­ton, Kurt Yaeger, Amber Ather­ton, JC Cogh­lan, and more.

Check out the full Dig­i­tal Road­block sur­vey for more results, and tune in to Sum­mit Live to watch the show unfold.

Do you know what your mar­ket­ing is doing? Adobe is here to help.