The challenges facing marketing directors: i3dMarketing report

June 3, 2016


Just one in ten marketing directors considers their Company allocates sufficient resources to their digital strategy.

Unveiled in Madrid and Barcelona, this study analyses corporate digital challenges in sectors such as leisure, sports, textiles and fashion, health, transport, tourism, distribution, technology and telecommunications, insurance, consultancy and banking.

  • Digital marketing´s budget will increase by an average of 10% in 2016.
  • Just 1 in 3 marketing directors believe their Board of Directors is sufficiently involved in their corporate digital strategy
  • í3D is in this first wave with 40%

Evercom, the communication and digital strategy consultancy, the Spanish marketing association and the market research company GfK, have produced the first study which measures the digital transformation of companies operating in Spain from the marketing directors point of view.

The report “í3D marketing directors´ digital challenges” has been put together according to 4 main subheadings: digital activity, investment in actual digital marketing, expectations and attitudes.

The average of these 4 subindices is 40.3%, proving there is still plenty of room for improvement in the development of digital transformation within companies.

The digital gap and leading sectors

When asked about the ideal investment split between on and offline marketing, marketing directors believed it should be 51.1% and 49.5% respectively.

However, in reality, investment in traditional marketing is 62.2% as opposed to 37.8% in digital marketing, 12.7% less.

The technology/telecoms, banking and insurance sectors believe they are above the rest of the market in their development of digital marketing. Other sectors such as transport/tourism, consumerism and health believe they are still a long way from reaching their optimum levels.


One of the main findings from the study, indicates that it is the marketing departments who are leading their companies digital transformation. As a result, and according to Pedro Aguilas, vice president of the Spanish marketing association “the marketing director is leading the digital transformation, taking on new roles and many challenges”.

In terms of the marketing directors´attitudes, the study reveals some of the assertions that these professionals have made over the digital challenges. It highlights the fact that 89% consider the resources allocated corporately to their digital strategy are “insufficient”.

In terms of the Board of Directors´implication in their corporate digital strategy , it is significant that only one in three of the marketing directors consulted believe they are sufficiently involved in the process.

However, there is a change in trend, especially among marketing directors. As Javier Gómez, director of brand studies and client experience of GfK in Spain states, “if two years ago the marketing directors admitted having certain doubts about their relationship with the digitalization process of companies, the study now proves that not only are they sure and interested, but they see it as a challenge they are excited about”.

Future, prospects and tools

With regards to this year´s investment and growth expectations compared to 2015, it should be noted that 81% of the marketing directors that were interviewed, considered their digital marketing activity would increase “a little” (56%) or considerably (25%), specifically, an average of 10% in comparison to the previous year. The banking sector is where the provision will increase the most with 11.4%.

In another section of the study, the marketing directors were asked about the digital tools they currently use in their companies. The list of 19 different proposals varied from the most basic, such as for example, their web page to SEO positioning, taking CRM, big data or new applications into consideration as the augmented reality. The replies indicate that on average 11 are used. The interviewees consider themselves in the midst of an “important” digitalization process but admit there is still a long way to go in order to attain a better positioning in the implementation of the innovative tools. In addition, 3 out of 4 people consulted no longer conceive working without CRM platforms (models based on relationship management and client satisfaction) and over half have mobile applications.

About the study

The study was drawn up by consulting 139 marketing directors and assistant marketing directors about the digital challenges facing their companies in the leisure, sports, textiles and fashion, health, transport, tourism, distribution, technology and telecommunications, insurance, consultancy and banking. Following the first study, this corporate transformation process will be measured year on year.

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