Not sure which approach to digital marketing yields the best revenue boost? Take heart, because nobody else does either.
That unsettling news is the result of a survey of marketers by Webmarketing 123. Their report was based on answers from 600 B2B and B2C marketing professionals, summarized in an article published online by MarketingProfs on March 3, 2015.
When asked, “Which digital channel makes the biggest positive impact on revenue?” respondents chose “Not sure” 33% of the time. Email came in second with 26% of the votes, followed by SEO with 17% and Paid Search at 15%. Social Media and Display each garnered 5%.
The numbers varied slightly between B2B and B2C marketers, with Email ranked more closely to Not Sure by the B2B contingent (32% to 31%) but the choices appeared in the same order.
Among the different social channels, B2B marketers gave LinkedIn a strong lead at 37% – bested only by Not Sure, which came in with 46% of the vote. That means 46% of those surveyed weren’t sure that any one social media channel actually delivered a revenue reward at all! Facebook (20%) and Twitter (19%) followed, with Other (12%) and Pinterest (3%) bringing up the rear.
For B2C marketers, Facebook was the clear winner, earning 56% of the votes as most significant revenue-generating social media channel. Not sure ranked second with 34%, and Twitter (23%), LinkedIn (14%), Other (9%) and Pinterest (6)% trailed among this group as well.
What do these numbers translate into in real terms? Basically, they bolster the information most marketers had already sensed or observed:
• B2B and B2C marketing differ, with distinct approaches yielding optimal results
• Pinterest is fun but the platform offers limited marketing opportunities for many industries
• Facebook is an effective way to reach and engage with consumers
• LinkedIn continues to grow in importance to businesses
• Social media is important as a marketing tool but difficult to measure in terms of ROI
The best thing a savvy marketer can do is to find some reassurance in the fact that the struggle to gauge discrete results is universal, but know that the effect is pronounced even if difficult to quantify by traditional measures.
Choose the channels that appeal to you and your audience most, and work to devise creative measurement systems that allow you to gauge relative effect in novel ways. And then, please share those methods with the rest of us who are struggling with the same challenge.