Where Should Online Marketing Dollars Go? | Rank Media

The latest report State of Digital Marketing report from Webmarketing123 is out and provides an interesting comparison of B2B and B2C online marketing programs, with a specific focus on social media, search engine optimization, and pay-per-click advertising. The survey polled various B2B and B2C companies on the performance of different online marketing strategies and their planned budgeting activities for 2013.

#1 Objective: Lead Generation vs. Brand Awareness

The number one objective of digital marketing strategies differed between B2B and B2C companies. For the former, the top objective turned out to be lead generation with 54% of the vote, whereas increased awareness was the most imporant objective for the latter segment. These results indicate that while generating sales is the ultimate objective of any campaign, lead generation and brand awareness are equally as important to create a presence online and break through a competitive environment.

SEO vs. PPC vs. Social – How do you get your leads?

Respondents were asked to choose which of the three digital marketing strategies had the most significant impact on generating leads for their respective businesses. Search engine optimization was the number one response in both segments, with social media marketing occupying the second spot for B2B companies and pay-per-click advertising taking the number two position for B2C companies. This speaks to SEO’s importance as the foundation of any digital marketing campaign and cannot be overlooked when budgeting for future online marketing activities.

Agency or In-house: who should handle your campaign? 

The most intriguing finding of the study was that respondents indicated they were more satisfied with agencies handling their online marketing programs rather controlling it themselves. The results were:

  • SEO: 21% highly satisfied with SEO program performance handled by outside agency, 11% satisfied with performance in-house.
  • PPC: 20% highly satisfied with PPC program performance handled by outside agency, 15% satisfied with performance in-house.
  • Social Media: 21% highly satisfied with Social Media program performance handled by outside agency, 10% satisfied with performance in-house.

Delivering optimal results is extremely difficult for marketing professional new to the online marketing environment. Contracting services out to an experienced digital marketing firm can help improve efficiency and achieve the desired ROI.

Social Media Marketing on the rise

One addition in this year’s study was the inclusion Pinterest and Google+, a testament to the dynamic and ever-changing nature of social media marketing. Major findings include the effectiveness of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to produce leads for both segments and the ability of Pinterest and Google+ to provide sales and leads for B2C businesses.The main insight here is that Pinterest might not prove to be an appropriate platform for certain B2B companies.

What do these results mean for your business?

The Webmarketing123 study seems to indicate that an online marketing plan encompassing search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, and social media is necessary to effectively leverage the reach of the Internet. A combination of all three strategies will help increase brand awareness, website traffic, lead generation, and sales in the long-run.

Below is the infographic prepared by Webmarketing123. Source: http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/webmarketing123-reports-on-the-2012-state-of-digital-marketing-1695136.htm

2012 Infographic Full