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It’s been Easter this weekend and the clocks have gone forward, signalling the end of Q1 and the beginning of a fresh quarter.

So to mark the shift into Q2 I’ve rounded up the surveys and reports our research team has published so far this year including some of the most intriguing and useful stats.

The topics include mobile strategy, marketing budgets, data driven business culture, user experience and the state of digital in Australia.

So, here are the stats...

Businesses use mobile for brand engagement rather than profit 

  • Data included in the Econsultancy/Kontagent Mobile Strategy and Sophistication Report shows that businesses are not yet focused on the impact that mobile can have on profits. Instead the top goals for mobile strategies are brand engagement/loyalty and needing to stay competitive.
  • Furthermore, only 28% of businesses are tracking performance indicators specific to their mobile programs.
  • The report also found that companies expect the importance of apps to their business to grow over the next one to two years. 23% cite apps as their most important mobile platform, compared to 31% identifying their mobile sites (46% evaluate the two as equally important).
  • Looking ahead, 32% believe that apps will become their most important mobile asset.
  • The study is based on a January 2013 survey of 1,301 respondents from both client-side and agency backgrounds.

Which of your mobile initiatives is most important to your business [today vs. 12-24 months]?

Startups are hungry for data

  • Data included in the Econsultancy and Geckoboard Data Driven Culture Survey Report shows that the vast majority of startups identify themselves as data driven businesses; only 5% of respondents stated that data is not a priority within their organisation.
  • Furthermore, there is a marked lack of confidence around data and metrics. Almost half of the respondents (49%) do not feel confident about the metrics they are currently monitoring.
  • 44% of startups spend substantially more on data gathering than on data communication, with 34% of respondents spending equally on both. This highlights the importance of developing mechanisms to guarantee that data is collected with a purpose and that key insights can be derived from it.
  • The report is based on a survey of over 360 business professionals globally, carried out in February 2013. It is aimed at professionals working in the startup community.

55% of businesses plan to increase digital marketing budgets in 2013

  • More than a third of companies (39%) plan to increase their digital marketing budgets this year at the expense of other channels, according to the new Econsultancy and SoDA Digital Marketing Outlook Report 2013.
  • A further 16% of respondents said that they would be increasing digital budgets alongside overall marketing spend, while just 11% said they planned to decrease the amount allocated to digital marketing.

  • The SoDA Report 2013 includes a survey of 814 marketers, of which more than 84% were key decision makers and influencers, including CMOs, VPs, and directors.
  • Agency-side respondents were almost evenly split between digital agencies (44%) and traditional shops with digital capabilities (45%). While the two sets of respondents agreed in many areas, their answers did diverge in a few key topics.
  • For example, full-service agencies were decidedly less optimistic about the future of independent agencies than their digital-only counterparts.
  • When asked for their opinion on the negative statement, “Independent agencies do not have a bright future,” only 6% of digital agency respondents agreed compared to a quarter (26%) of full-service agencies.

74% of businesses believe user experience is key for improving sales

  • Almost three-quarters (74%) of businesses believe that the user experience is important for improving sales and conversions, according to data in the Econsultancy and WhatUsersDo User Experience Survey Report.
  • Increased customer satisfaction (72%) and customer loyalty (44%) were also popular responses, however few business appear convinced of the cost-saving benefits of improving the user experience.
  • The survey also asked what both client-side and agency-side respondents listed as the primary benefits of user experience. For companies, the two most commonly listed benefits were to improve and evidence decision-making (68%) and to remove guesswork out of the design process (66%).

What do you believe are the primary benefits of user experience testing?

  • The User Experience Survey Report, conducted by Econsultancy in association with WhatUsersDo, is based on a survey of more than 1,400 digital and ecommerce professionals.

71% of businesses plan to increase digital marketing budgets this year

  • Almost three out of four businesses (71%) plan to increase their digital marketing budgets this year, according to stats included in the Econsultancy/Responsys Marketing Budgets 2013 Report.
  • In comparison only 20% of respondents said they plan to increase their traditional (offline) budgets, up slightly from 16% last year.
  • The average expected increase (for those increasing digital budgets) is 28%, slightly higher than the average expected increase of 26% for offline budgets.
  • More than two-thirds of client-side respondents (70%) said their companies would be increasing the amount spent on content marketing.
  • The report is based on a survey of more than 800 client-side marketers and agency respondents.

25% of Australian marketers say digital knowledge is poor

  • Findings from Econsultancy/Marketing Magazine State of Digital Marketing in Australia report has revealed that the digital skills and knowledge gap is still very present in Australia, with a quarter of respondents saying knowledge of digital within their organisations is “poor” to “very poor”.
  • Only 8% of client-side marketers rated themselves as having an “excellent” understanding of digital, which was a decrease of around a third from 2012.
  • 30% said their understanding was “good”, 36% said it was “okay” and 21% felt it was “poor”.
  • In contrast, only 3% of supply-side respondents felt that their clients’ digital skills were “excellent”, showing a somewhat more negative outlook on the current skill set of marketers.

Client-side: How would you describe the level of digital knowledge within your organisation?

  • When supply-side marketers were asked what the biggest barriers to clients investing more money in digital marketing were, a lack of understanding/education about digital marketing came out as the number one barrier at 54%, closely followed by company culture at 53%.

61% of businesses believe new products and services are key to growth

  • Data included in the Econsultancy/JEGI Media Growth Report 2013 shows that a majority of businesses (61%) believe that launching new products and service will be the top growth driver in the next 1-2 years.
  • This is followed by expansion of market share within existing markets and making an acquisition.

Top growth drivers in next 12 to 24 months

  • Looking at the barriers to growth, 42% of respondents cited new competitors, 35% are concerned about competition from free/low cost alternatives to their products, and 34% said the main barrier was innovation from traditional competitors.
  • The 2013 Media Growth Report is based on a two-phased approach, beginning with a survey of 231 top business executives in the third quarter of 2012, followed by a round of in-depth qualitative interviews.
David Moth

Published 1 April, 2013 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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