Back to The Future!
In our previous post, we presented the high-level conclusions of our marketing infrastructure survey. Now we’re going to show you how the sausage was made. In creating the survey the first questions we asked were both the most obvious and gave us significant insights. For the remainder of this series we’ll be reviewing the questions and the responses across all organization sizes, and of course the conclusions derived from them.
1. What types of campaigns are you implementing?
For the first question we offered a multiple choice selection of nine standard marketing campaigns any of which a marketing organization would run regardless of size or budget constraints. These included email marketing, social media, direct mail, webinars, banner and print advertising, SEO/PPC, and lead scoring and nurturing.
What becomes immediately apparent is that Email remains the primary marketing program regardless of organizational size. Forrester Research estimates that 94% of all organizations engage in email marketing as the core component of their lead generation mix. We found nothing to contradict that finding here and in fact, the usage numbers were virtually identical across all organizational sizes.
Second in preference was social media. While many discrete activities comprise a social media program such as blogging, Twitter, Facebook, and Linked’In as well as podcasting and other activities, different organizations will implement different mixes depending on production, distribution, and promotion budgets. Larger organizations spend more on programs with higher production and distribution costs while smaller organizations utilize less costly media with minimal promotion costs. One of the benefits of social media is that by using best practices for distribution and creating compelling content, smaller organizations are not necessarily at a disadvantage from their larger competitors in terms of getting their messages heard.
Third in popularity was a statistical tie between advertising (both banner and print), and direct mail. While it’s fashionable among marketing pundits to talk about the dramatic shift away from print advertising and direct mail (two of the most conventional and traditional marketing channels) our numbers show that there’s no sign of diminishment in utilization regardless of organization size. All four organizations are implementing them in approximately equal measure.
The final categories consist of those most associated with marketing automation software systems. These include lead scoring, lead nurturing, and SEO (search engine optimization) /PPC (pay per click). Given that less than 10% of organizations use Marketing Automation software and those that do only use it to 25% of it’s full capability as reported by Sirius-Decisions, the lack of their use across all organization sizes is not surprising.
2. Which campaigns are the top two sales pipeline contributors?
Our follow-up question was based on the campaigns they selected in question #1 as to which two programs can be most directly tied to sales conversions. The results here were virtually identical regardless of organization size.
The top sales contributor was email – certainly not a surprise given its ubiquity. The second was trade shows. Again, old-line marketing techniques come to the fore as the main marketing contributor to revenue. While email is clearly the most popular across all organization sizes, tradeshows had a greater adoption especially among the larger organizations from the remaining options. Given the cost to mount a consistent tradeshow presence it’s natural that the organizations with larger budgets and who already enjoy a certain amount of brand recognition would continue to invest along these lines.
The conclusion we can draw based on the first two questions from the survey is that investments are being made in programs that are assured to deliver results that can be measured and managed without the need of new marketing systems or process re-orientation. While many marketing pundits continue to highlight the benefits of Marketing Automation, what is clear is that marketers are not racing to implement these technologies – for the time being. As we progress to the next level of responses in the upcoming posts, we’ll be able to see under what conditions marketers are open to adopting integrated marketing technology that can ensure predictable and positive results without having to implement significant processes, budgets, and costs – in short, a Marketing Automation System.