Email is yet again considered to be the most effective digital marketing tactic, and it also benefits from a relative ease in execution, per respondents to an survey from Ascend2 and its Research Partners [download page]. Somewhat surprisingly given the B2B skew (66% of respondents), fewer tabbed paid search as being effective as did social media (34% and 41%, respectively). That’s despite other indications that paid search is quite effective for B2B marketers.
That SEO is perceived to be more effective than paid search does speak more to the B2B skew, as other research suggests that SEO is indeed a bigger revenue driver for B2B companies than paid search. For B2C companies, though, the same research indicates that paid search is a bigger revenue driver than both SEO and email.
The survey options did not include video, which has separately been cited as a leading tactic.
Separately, the Ascend2 survey respondents indicate that social media is the most difficult tactic to execute, ahead of SEO and mobile.
Overall, the vast majority of respondents feel that digital marketing effectiveness is increasing, though most say only marginally. Increased lead generation (58%) tops increased conversion rates (48%) as the most important goal of a digital marketing strategy, while inadequate budgets are considered the biggest barrier to success.
About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 275 marketing professionals in March 2016. Some 66% of respondents count B2B as their primary marketing channel. A slight majority (53%) come from companies with at least 50 employees.