Recently, we surveyed several of our clients and asked them what challenges they face as they work to improve and advance their company’s digital marketing. We specifically wanted to know about the barriers that stand in their way and which ones matter most. The data shows that the most common barrier is silos and a lack of organisational alignment.

The widespread challenge of silos and alignment was also highlighted during my recent participation at the CMO100 event in New York City. I had the opportunity to speak with many digital marketing leaders from great brands and they expressed concerns about cross-departmental challenges, fragmented organisations and other related issues. Time and again, we heard marketers everywhere are facing similar challenges.

Below are more details that our clients shared with us about the significance of each of these four big barriers:

1) Lack of organisational alignment and unclear organisational priorities

Organisations operate in silos and breaking those down continues to be the major barrier. In our survey, this was the most commonly experienced barrier (76 percent of respondents) that prohibited their companies from meeting online marketing goals.

2) Limited budget

While an increasing proportion of the marketing budget is going to digital strategy, 68 percent of companies surveyed indicated lack of budget is also a barrier.

3) Shortage of skills and resources

Traditional marketers lack the skills necessary to support digital growth and there are too many specialist skills that marketers need to master. Sixty-six percent of companies in the survey said they do not have enough people to meet their goals and 57 percent feel a lack of expertise may stand in their way.

4) Available technology

Technology is a key enabler of digital marketing advancement and the ability to deliver a personalised experience, but 62 percent of companies believe that a lack of technology is a strong barrier.

The investment in digital marketing is outpacing the available technology, process and skills for many organisations. Marketing organisations are filled with extremely smart people, but they are overwhelmed. Data-driven marketing success is attainable, but the fact is it’s hard to deliver on that promise with technology, people and organisational barriers standing in the way.

Check out the infographic below and compare this with the barriers you face in your digital marketing. In an upcoming blog, I will introduce a Framework for Digital Marketing Advancement that outlines how and where to invest to set your own path to personalisation. This infographic gives a glimpse into this framework, but stay tuned for more insights and tips.