By Kari Dunham and Jill Schmidt, Finn Digital, www.finndigital.com
In the April issue of BizTimes Marketing + PR, we offered readers the opportunity to participate in our interactive marketing survey as a means to determine the interactive trends of marketing decision makers throughout the Midwest. Thank you to all who participated! We’ve included some of the most notable information in this report; you can download a copy of the full survey results here.
Survey respondents are evenly split between business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) industries. Nearly half of the respondents work in both B2B and B2C, 22 percent are in B2C-only markets and 33 percent in B2B-only industries.
The most popular marketing initiatives reported by 70percent of survey respondents are website updates and social media campaigns, both of which have seen 2010 budget increases. Less popular efforts include public relations campaigns, email marketing, direct mail, print advertising and search engine optimization with budget decreases reported for print advertising and direct mail.
40 percent of survey respondents reported that they immediately adjust their interactive marketing tactics based on consumer feedback. Weekly adjustments based on feedback are likely for 22 percent of the respondents and only 5 percent rarely change their marketing initiatives.
Over 40 percent of the respondents believe their website is better than average, but only 11% believe it is an “industry leading” website. About half said their competitors’ web presence is average, around a third reported it was better than average and 17 percent stated their competitor’s website was an industry leader. None of the respondents claimed their competitors’ web presence is poor, but about 15 percent believe their own is poor.
When asked to rank which area of their website required the most immediate attention, half reported website navigation and overall usability, followed by the immediate need for design updates (33%) and functionality updates (16%). About half of respondents are considering the addition of multiple languages to their site in the next year.
The majority of our respondents cited a budget increase for social media initiatives; 88 percent claim that they are most interested in utilizing Facebook or Twitter and about 70 percent are interested in blogs.
Most respondents indicated they are dedicating full-time staff for current social media endeavors or plan to use full time employees for future initiatives. This is in comparison to using part-time staff or interns for current (44%) or future campaigns (44%). A solid 77 percent are involved in social media outside of their company’s web presence (LinkedIn groups, web communities, etc.).
With over 94% of respondents using email as a part of their marketing program, it’s clear that this marketing channel continues to remain strong. A third send out daily email communications and another third send out weekly communications, the remaining third of our respondents are split between bi-weekly, monthly and no set schedule.
When asked if they currently engage in email performance testing, 55 percent reported that they test subject lines, 44 percent test by day of the week and 38% test by article topic.
Email marketing topics include product updates (55%), brand awareness (44%) and thought or product leadership (38%). The responders regularly track email marketing key performance indicators (KPIs) that include number of visits to the website, brand awareness and activity on the website as a result of the email (downloading whitepaper, completing lead generation forms, watching demonstrations).
To find out more about mobile technology, search engine optimization and training trends download the full report here.