Digital Marketing Trends in Turkey
As the variety of digital channels serving marketing practices increases, consumers are becoming the protagonists of an interactive marketing world where two way communication holds the key. All transactions shift from a channel-centric model to a consumer-centric model. In a world like this, companies that know who their consumers are can use this knowledge as a competitive advantage even more than in the past. Increasing internet penetration, quality of digital content and variety of devices that provide online access to all consumer segments are the major drivers of this trend.
The research team from Egon Zehnder and Boğaziçi University have spoken to many marketing executives and other leaders in Turkey who realize that conventional marketing approaches need to change dramatically. The research has revealed that the digital revolution has brought marketing practices to a watershed.
- Search engine advertising and social media are the two major phenomena that are revolutionizing the marketer’s world
- The rapid pace of change and amount of data produced in various digital marketing channels are overwhelming for marketing professionals
- Vast proportions of marketing budgets are still being invested in the conventional marketing channels. Turkey still lags far behind the global digital marketing spend (approximately 10% in Turkey versus 27% global average) although the country shows a high acceptance of new technologies. This is a sign for marketers that while, year by year, budgets will shift towards digital marketing, conventional marketing methods – and television in particular – will continue to garner the majority of marketing spending for years to come.
- Marketers are surprisingly quick to adopt social media tools as part of their media mix (94% and 86% of our survey respondents are either using or planning to use Facebook and Twitter respectively) but performance-based digital marketing investment is still an area to develop further. The tools for measuring ROI on digital marketing investments are not yet mature.
- Digital marketing agencies and platform providers (Google, Microsoft, telecom companies) play a transformational role in shifting marketing practices to digital. They educate companies, encourage young entrepreneurs to grow skills in this field, partner with universities to create programs to grow talent and provide tools to measure ROI of digital marketing activities.
- Digital marketing talent in Turkey is very scarce. When sourcing digital marketing talent, companies rely on digital marketing agencies, platform providers or talent from abroad. Alternatively, some companies prefer to hire new graduates. There is high turnover in all digital marketing resources and the skills are still not sufficient to meet companies’ needs.
- The skills of digital marketers differ significantly from the skills of conventional marketers. Companies and digital marketing agencies are looking for technology-friendly, analytical, intellectually curious people who are able to use statistical methods to evaluate complex data.
Despite the huge potential that digital channels bring, most companies in Turkey seem focused on digital as a one-way promotional or sales channel, and have yet to capitalize on the ability not only to count numbers of clicks or “Likes” but also to analyze the dialogues and turn the information into insights that impact the bottom line.