Almost one in five (18%) do not think that their campaigns are reaching their intended audiences and 10% are not sure which channels are most valuable for their campaigns.
The research found that digital marketers are often beguiled by headline-grabbing communications channels. More than a third (35%) of digital marketers spend most of their budget on social despite the stat, from a Google consumer survey of 1000 people, that only 23% of consumers are receptive to marketing on social media.
Social was not the only channel overly-enamoured by marketers, Greenlight found. While 21% of digital marketers spend most of their budget on content marketing, a mere 3% of consumers like reading or viewing this type of content.
A large proportion of digital marketers admitted that measurement and tracking were a source of confusion, particularly around the multitude of data sources - 44% said they struggled with tracking online spend and 35% with tracking offline spend.
Greenlight, which conducted the research among 200 digital marketers, compared the message conveyed by the findings to the words of US marketing pioneer John Wanamaker, who said: "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is, I don't know which half."
Andreas Pouros, Greenlight’s chief executive and co-founder, said: "Wanamaker’s quote may be nearly 100 years old, but it is clear that many in the industry are still struggling.
"This is down to some digital marketers not being able to identify their key audience and ensuring they take the next steps to target them through the right channels with the right messaging.
"It may seem daunting but digital marketers should make the most of the data they have to hand, and aim to dig a little deeper so their brand gets seen in the right places by the right people."