Adobe's recent report on digital marketing is quite an eye-opener. For this generation of marketers who brag about their digital prowess, their fast-paced actions and responses, and their potential to harness the emerging technologies, the reality seems to fall short of their claims.

The report, “Digital Distress: What Keeps Marketers Up at Night?”, is based on an online survey conducted on 1,000 U.S. marketers. There has been a major paradigm shift in the entire concept and nature of marketing, and most marketers do not feel adequately trained or equipped to handle the constant change and evolving technologies, which has led to rising insecurity.

Out of the 1,000 participants in the Adobe survey, 263 were digital marketers and 754 were generalists. The report states that:

  • 48 percent of digital marketers feel confident about their digital marketing prowess and knowledge.
  • Compared to the above, 37 percent of the generalists feel the same confidence or proficiency in digital marketing.
  • 1 in 3 feel their company is well-equipped to excel in digital marketing while 2 of 5 feel the same about their colleagues and fellow marketers.

Quite a grim picture actually, especially when you consider the fact that one can only go ahead and has to face increasing digital challenges of the Web and mobile technologies.

A decade ago, marketing was all about harnessing the markets, grabbing market share and utilizing field reports that included demographics and consumer data in neat columns. Today, we are bombarded with data every minute. There is no time to assign professionals to study it minutely and come up with a report.

The need of the hour is an expert eye that can glance at the data and extrapolate the future revenue constantly. Experts who know how technology is changing can anticipate how these changes will affect the way business is done and markets harnessed. Unfortunately, as the survey shows, such experts are like a drop in the ocean and most companies are feeling overwhelmed by the digital revolution.

Evolving technologies have also opened up the markets. Globalization now means more competition which can only be counteracted with proper utilization of both existing and emerging technologies.

Traditional modes of marketing are slow, provincial and expensive. To reach out to the thousands, which is the focus of marketing today, one needs high-end digital marketing, which will work without burning a hole in budgets.

The parameters of one-to-one and one-to-many marketing have also enmeshed within each other, and one cannot apply neat forensics to generate revenue from these subsets any longer. Again it is digital marketing that comes to the rescue, because it has the unique ability to target individuals and groups at the same time yet be effective.

The survey shows the majority feel that digital marketing is the answer to successfully realize their ROI. In the ever-expanding global and Web markets, they see they cannot hope to reach the larger segment of their target audience through traditional means anymore.

Marketers are overwhelmed not because they cannot read the future, but because they are not confident in their own digital marketing abilities. They realize the more time they take to understand it, the more they lag behind in the race.

The panic combined with the lack of knowledge has fueled the widespread insecurity among marketers today. Their lack of formal training is clashing head-on with the increased pressure to demonstrate return on investment on their marketing investments and budgets.

Scary as the picture is, it is also a wake-up call for companies and professionals alike. There is no time to wallow in tech-impaired psyches. Instead, marketers have to rise above the mundane and embrace the new technologies, which promise a huge and instant reach for brands at low costs.

If harnessed properly, digital marketing can make or break a brand instantly and drive revenues to bigger heights. The key is to not to be intimidated and to understand this fact.

The core idea behind technology is to simplify life and learning new technologies is easy. Companies need to start aligning their products and services along these lines, digitally optimize their resources and get the most out of their digital spends today.