The Biggest Obstacles to Digital Marketing Success


by Ayaz Nanji

Marketers say a lack of effective strategies is the biggest obstacle to success in digital marketing, according to a recent report from Ascend2.

More than half of marketers surveyed (51%) cited strategy issues when asked to list the major factors preventing them from fully achieving their digital marketing goals.

Budget constraints were the second most cited obstacle (picked by 38% of respondents); lack of training/experience was next (32%), followed by inability to prove ROI (30%), and useless metrics/analytics (25%).

Below, additional key findings from the report, which was based on data from a survey of 333 digital marketers from around the world (65% based in North America; 17% in Europe; 18% other). More than two-thirds (69%) of respondents work for B2B-focused companies.

Overall Effectiveness

  • 62% of respondents rate their digital marketing efforts as somewhat successful; 27% as very successful; 9% somewhat unsuccessful; 2% very unsuccessful.
  • 71% of respondents say the effectiveness of their digital marketing efforts is improving.

Most Effective Tactics, and the Easiest

  • Some 54% of respondents rate email as one of their most successful digital marketing tactics; 48% rate websites as a top tactic; 47% search engine optimization; 43% social media.

  • Email is also seen as a relatively easy digital marketing tactic to execute, with only 11% of respondents rating it as one of the most difficult channels.
  • Digital marketers rate social media as the most difficult tactic to execute, followed by content creation.