Effective Marketing Channels: Traditional & Digital
The opportunities for B2B marketers in the digital arena continue to grow, as new tools and more effective marketing channels offer companies new ways to reach their target audiences. Increasing budgets and the growing willingness of B2B marketers to try new strategies will make next year of increased activity in digital channels. Companies recognize that search, social media, video and mobile have high potential to deliver new leads and keep existing customers loyal.
A growing number of digital marketing strategies are effective for both acquiring new leads and keeping customers engaged; and marketers are willing to put these tools to the test. From Search Engine Marketing (SEM), which leads the pack as the most effective way to reach a targeted audience, to Social Media Marketing (SMM), Online Content Marketing (OCM) and the Mobile Web Marketing (MWM), marketers are relying heavily on digital marketing and will continue to do so this year.
Marketing Mix, Key Challenges, and Predictions for the Road Ahead: An end user survey by research company Ipsos OTX, commissioned by Google. This survey assessed how companies plan to spend their marketing dollars, how they will determine their marketing mix, the challenges they face, and how they will analyze the ROI and effectiveness of marketing programs.
Traditional Vs. Digital Most Effective Marketing Channels: In B2B, There’s Room for Both
After years of economic downturn and shrinking budgets, B2B marketers have weathered challenges and at the same time, learned to embrace a variety of marketing tools. Today, the outlook is strong, and the majority of marketers will use both traditional and digital channels to reach and engage potential customers.
A very bright spot for B2B marketing—in 2012, 41 percent of those marketers surveyed expect a budget increase, and a significant increase at that. Of this group, the average anticipated budget increase is 21 percent. Only nine percent of marketers anticipate a decrease in their marketing budgets for 2012.
Current B2B Budgets Skew Traditional
According to the survey results, tradeshows are dominating the marketing mix accounting for an average 28 percent of investments. Magazines and trade publications account for 13 percent, while direct mail follows closely behind at nine percent. Digital accounted for 34 percent of marketers’ budgets in 2010. Email marketing received the most digital investment (eight percent) followed by online content, SEO, and SEM (five percent each).
Despite the investment skew toward traditional channels, B2B marketers perceive that their customers prefer digital: Google’s research indicated that the Internet is the number one channel believed by marketers to be utilized by B2B target audiences for business purposes.
Digital are N1 as Effective Marketing Channels.
There’s one thing the surveyed marketers agree on—digital is the all-around most effective channel for businesses to reach their target audience. In Google’s
study, eight of the top 10 most effective media channels for reaching the B2B audience are digital. Email, SEO, Social Media, and online content are thought to be the most effective overall, while SEM and SEO are the most effective channels for gaining new leads. Email marketing ranks as the best way to prime, close, and maintain customers.
Tradeshows Will Remain Critical
In nearly every aspect of the 2011 outlook, B2B marketers indicated a strong belief in industry events and tradeshows. In 2010, 85 percent of marketers invested in event marketing, and 28 percent of that group plan to increase those investments in 2011. Furthermore, if they were given incremental budget, tradeshows are the N1 channel in which marketers would invest.
Search Still N1 for Reaching B2B Audiences
Eighty-one percent of the B2B marketers surveyed believe their audiences are using search engines for work purposes, and they agree that search marketing is the most effective digital channel to reach them. Moreover, SEM is ranked the number one channel for gaining new leads, with 85 percent of B2B marketers ranking it effective.
Mobile and online video expected to surge
As B2B marketers plan for 2012, emerging digital media channels, particularly mobile and online video, are a big factor in the marketing mix.
This survey demonstrated that the role of the mobile channel is growing amongst B2B marketers. The number of marketers expecting to increase mobile budgets has tripled since a year ago, with 40 percent of those already using mobile anticipating positive growth in 2011. Moreover, 12 percent intended to incorporate mobile into their marketing plans for the first time. Online video is another growing channel—nearly half (48 percent) of B2B marketers believe that online video initiatives have a strong positive impact on their company’s brand and sales.
Digital Integration will be a Key Driver
Finally, this study provided strong indication that integrated campaigns will be a key driver of successful B2B marketing plans in 2012. Marketers will be looking at the holistic, 360 effect of a campaign, as well as the “reverberations” of one medium on another and accounting for that in their strategy. Sixty-three percent of B2B marketers recognize that traditional initiatives have a strong impact on online activity in terms of search and online conversions.
Now that digital has a prominent seat at the table with B2B’s other more traditional forms of marketing, integrated campaigns will be an inevitable reality for marketers moving forward.
It’s not just about coordinated business weapons, but using one to hone and inform
the others. Senior Manager, Search & Social at Autodesk
Notice The future of marketing is unquestionably digital. The marketing world is changing – never before have digital marketing opportunities as cost effective, targeted and efficient, been available to businesses of all shapes and sizes. As traditional marketing methods are abandoned and the digital world takes over, the challenge for most organisations is to find the right technical approach to maximize their own digital online potential.
Today, there are more products and services bought online and through digital marketing and media than through traditional marketing channels, which means that more and more digital marketing professionals are needed to satisfy the growth of the digital marketing and advertising industry. Companies see the potential in reaching their target markets in a timely and highly effective way via a number of digital marketing channels – online and mobile advertising.
The knowledge of digital marketing, from online delivery to back office analysis, able to enable a business’s web, digital marketing and social media tools to co-exist in a single integrated platform are crucial today. Without these elements working together any marketing strategy will ultimately lead to a constant battle of manual processes and missed opportunities.