How Do Your Online Marketing Priorities Match Up With Marketers?
If you ask many small business owners with a web presence what the biggest contributing factors to their online marketing efforts are, many of them would say that a strong social media presence can make or break a small company. Compelling content wouldn’t fall far behind, and neither would a blog. It’s been drilled into the minds of businesses that these channels are the keys to success, and that most online marketing efforts should be dedicated to these elements. Sure, advertising is important too, but it’s also costly for a small business, while social media is free.
Corporations with big marketing budgets wouldn’t agree, however. As it turns out, they feel the most useful tool in their digital marketing arsenal is the corporate website, according to a 2012 marketing survey by Gartner. Read on to see if their priorities are in line with your own.
Whom and What Did the Survey Measure?
Gartner’s latest report on U.S. Digital Marketing Spending surveyed 250 marketers from large U.S. companies that boast more than $500 million in annual revenue. These companies ran the gamut across six industries, including financial services and insurance, healthcare, high-tech, media, manufacturing, and retail. The survey, conducted in November and December of 2012, examined how these marketers allocated their digital spending budgets, and which areas of online marketing that most contributed to success.
What Do Corporations Spend Their Money On?
While spending on digital marketing averaged only 2.5 percent of a company’s revenue compared to overall marketing efforts of 10.4 percent of the revenue, that number is expected to increase by 9 percent this year alone. The average marketing budget for digital marketing was 25 percent, but ranged from 10 percent to 50 percent. Advertising was the biggest area of spending in digital marketing, at 12.5 percent of the budget. Content creation and management was the second largest area of spending. Laura McLellan, research vice president at Gartner, says that content marketing is aimed at inbound marketing to get found, while outbound marketing is focused on finding audiences. Social media is one example of an inbound marketing technique.
Which Digital Marketing Activities Were Cited as Most Important?
The respondents were asked to rank digital marketing activities in order of how important they were to contributing to marketing success. Of the top three results, a surprising number of respondents indicated that corporate websites were the most important activity for marketing success, beating out social media marketing and online advertising by two percent overall. Social media marketing and online advertising tied for second place. Only six percent of respondents cited social media as the most important activity in their digital marketing efforts. The only measure that ranked below social media in this aspect was the company blog, at a measly 2 percent.
What Do These Results Mean?
Despite the strong influence of social media for all businesses, for larger ones, this suggests that a company’s website will not soon be replaced by their social media presence. Gartner’s research director, Bill Gassman, says that marketers need to “continuously invest in measuring and optimizing their websites.” He emphasizes the importance of web analytics, landing pages, and compelling content, to encourage visitor engagement. The areas that are expected to see an increase in their 2013 budgets, according to the survey, are e-commerce experiences, social marketing campaigns, mobile marketing, and content creation and management.
For advice and assistance on the development of a comprehensive online marketing strategy, or to get an insight into how your current methods are performing, speak to Infintech Designs. Their staff is made up of experts in online marketing and design, allowing for integrated web presences.
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