IMA Research Lab launches at IMPACT14 and Publishes First Survey Results

By Patrick Boulard, Head of IMA Research Lab

Introduced during IMPACT14 last month in Las Vegas, the IMA Research Lab was created around IMA’s central mission to provide value to our members through leading-edge perspectives on current and emerging Internet marketing trends, best practices and related technology solutions.

Immediately prior to IMPACT14, we sent an introductory survey designed to identify some of the key areas of concern for our membership. Interestingly, your feedback ahead of the conference closely mirrored some of the key topics our keynote speakers and breakout session presenters chose to focus on.

One of the first questions of the survey was about identifying some of the key concerns you had, heading into 2015:

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We asked about a number of potential concern areas:

  • Measure, prioritize and prove the ROI of marketing channels and initiatives;
  • Analyze big data (behavioral, customer interaction etc.) to help focus Marketing efforts and grow the business;
  • Accurately identify and target audience(s);
  • Create fresh, innovative content to educate and engage with target audience(s);
  • Harness the promise of social networks to generate measurable value for the business;
  • Quickly anticipate social media and consumer trends, and react rationally to stay ahead of the curve;
  • Find the right talent and expertise to build a world class Marketing organization;
  • Get support from IT to ensure Marketing has the right technology solutions in place, at the right time.

All topics received significant attention, but three of them in particular scored an aggregate concern rate greater than 80% (adding together the “Concern”, “Significant Concern” and “Losing Sleep Over” categories).

Interestingly, these topics were aligned with conference keynotes and breakout session themes discussed at IMPACT14, and reflecting our members opinions about:

  • Leveraging Big Data (82.76% concerned)
  • Accurately identifying target audiences (83.91% concerned)
  • Creating of fresh, innovative content (81.61% concerned)

The overall degree of concern across all topics was high, as every one of them came in above 70%.

Despite an increasing level of maturity, the marketing function continues to feel the pressure of ever-evolving social media channels, audiences, and behaviors.

The pace of evolution is so rapid that it is difficult if not impossible to adequately anticipate trends, and react fast enough once they are understood and confirmed.

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