It’s not often that a survey about the future (albeit the near future) comes up with TV as the top response. But that’s the case in a recent study from Clutch and R2i, which asked marketers at enterprise companies to identify their top priority marketing channel in the coming 6-12 months.
A leading 22% pointed to TV, putting it well ahead of next-place social media (16%). Maybe these marketers have been reading our popular study on purchase influencers? As part of our own research, we’ve found that more consumers ascribe purchase influence to TV ads than to any other paid medium. At the same time, social ads are fast-rising, becoming the second-most influential source for youth.
Returning to the Clutch survey, websites (12%) came in third in the enterprise marketer priority sweepstakes. Fascinatingly, these top-3 channels were shared by both B2B and B2C marketers, despite prior research suggesting that TV isn’t top-of-mind for B2B marketers, even if it is their leading advertising channel. Meanwhile, although social media is becoming more important to B2B marketers, there’s evidence to suggest that it shouldn’t be placed ahead of email or paid search.
One possible explanation for the high priority assigned to both TV and social (as opposed to email, digital’s workhorse) is the way by which marketers defined their strategic goals in the survey. Respondents reported that brand awareness is their top strategic priority (34%), narrowly edging customer loyalty (32%) and ahead of marketing analytics/ROI measurement (19%). TV and social are both associated with branding objectives, while email tends to be more of a loyalty and engagement platform.
Overall, the Clutch survey indicates that websites (84%) and social media (78%) are the most commonly-used marketing channels by enterprises (defined as companies with at least 500 employees). Print (65%), email (60%) and TV (57%) closed out the top 5, with content marketing seeing a surprisingly low rate of adoption (36%).
In looking at notable differences between B2B and B2C marketers’ use of various platforms, the survey details higher adoption of print and TV among B2C marketers, with a particularly sizable difference in use of radio (52% B2C; 34% B2B). Content marketing is more heavily used by B2B (42%) than B2C (33%) marketers, although the figures both seem low compared to other studies on the topic.
About the Data: Clutch describes its methodology as follows:
“Clutch and R2i’s Enterprise Marketing Survey consisted of 500 respondents who work in a marketing role at companies in the United States with at least 500 employees. About half come from companies with 1000+ employees. 88% are manager level or higher. Responses were collected between March and April 2016.”
In other methodological details: about 6 in 10 respondents are from companies with at least $100 million in annual revenues; and two-thirds are B2C-focused.