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Laggards Lie about Digital Marketing Mojo

More than six out of ten Chief Marketing Officers (CMO) and other senior marketing professionals surveyed in the U.S. said that digital tactics (including mobile) accounted for more than one-quarter of their agency marketing, according to a market study by Zoomerang for Sapient.

Respondents also said digital marketing was growing in importance. Nearly one-half (45 percent) of those polled had either switched agencies or planned to switch during the next 12 months to gain access to more meaningful digital expertise.

Almost eight out of ten said that agency interactive and digital aptitude was important or very important. But, the numbers just don't add up.

Since the Sapient sample involved fewer than 100 respondents, the results are most useful in a "directional" sense, but the amount of digital marketing (generally over 25 percent) CMOs reported seems high.

As a point of comparison, digital ad spending growth remains steep compared with other media, yet it still accounts for less than 10 percent of total ad spending in the U.S.

Translation: some CMOs are lying about their use of digital marketing in an attempt to hide their apparent laggard track record.

The other thing to note is that Sapient asked respondents about marketing activity, not marketing spending. Since e-mail is a relatively low-cost tactic, it can account for a great deal of marketing activity relative to its cost.

Gail Scibelli, vice president at Sapient, told eMarketer that some of the marketing professionals surveyed could have been including e-commerce initiatives in their estimates.

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