What are your fellow marketers doing in the realm of digital?  We have the results back from our 2017 Digital Marketing survey. We’re excited to share the results, and continue to help marketers expand the reach of their organization online this year.

The survey consisted of nine questions, each having to do with an aspect of digital marketing. The survey was sent to a list of 1,397 people, mostly located in and around Madison, Wisconsin. Most of the respondents were not existing Powderkeg clients.  Here are the results!

 


 

How was your 2016 digital marketing performance?

A large majority of the respondents to the survey noted that they “Met Expectations” related to their digital marketing performance in 2016.  An about equal amount of the minority marked that they either exceeded or were below what they expected.

 


 

What are the primary goals of your digital marketing efforts? 

Over 2/3rds of the respondents marked Brand Awareness and Web Traffic as their primary goals for digital marketing. It can likely be concluded that web traffic feeds into brand awareness as well.  Lead Generation and Existing Customer Resource, were the other two major goals marked by respondents.

A little over 20% of the respondents were from non-profit or government organizations, which is likely to skew the data for Lead Generation and Product purchasing. “Hiring New Employees” was only marked as a goal for businesses that had also marked having over 250 employees.

 


 

What digital methods were most effective for your organization?

Content is king, right? Our survey respondents said so at least. Website content and email marketing were the two winners in the most effective methods in digital marketing.  Surprisingly, just under half of the respondents said that Social Media was an effective method.  SEO and Paid Advertising, more advanced methods, garnered likes by about 25% of the responses.

 


 

What were your biggest challenges in 2016?

Most of our respondents were hard on themselves when it came to their 2016 digital marketing challenges.  Over half of those surveyed marked that having little or no strategy harmed them in their efforts. Shameful plug…  my book offers a great starting point on developing an inbound strategy. After that, budgets and lack of knowledge appeared to be the largest constraints.

It also appears that most executives are on-board with digital marketing efforts now.  Only 13% of the respondents marked that they were struggling to get buy-in from the higher ups.

 


 

How often are you updating content on your website?

Earlier we noted that website content and email marketing were the most effective methods that our respondents used. That same vein carried through into the frequency in which organizations were adding or updating their website content.  63% of the responses noted that they updated their website at least once a week.  88% of responses showed that their website was updated at least once a month.

Interesting, but not surprising, was that of the organizations that marked themselves as performing “Below Expectations”, almost all of the respondents also noted updating their website less than once a month.

 


 

What social media platforms are you active (blue) on? Which are effective (orange)?

When it comes to social media, Facebook was the big winner in terms of activity and effectiveness. Twitter seemed to be the social media platform that most people used, but did not find much value in. Very few of the respondents found LinkedIn to be effective.

Instagram, Pinterest and Youtube are all being used, but don’t appear to be in the “standard” package of social media platforms that were adopted. For marketers looking to try out a new platform, it appeared that YouTube was having some level of success for those who are on it.

 


 

What Paid Digital Advertising are you doing?

Almost half the organizations surveyed are doing paid social media advertising. After Facebook changed it’s algorithm back in 2014, reaching audiences organically became more and more difficult. Additionally, paid social media advertising has a low cost to get started. These factors and more would lead me to believe that paid social media advertising will only increase.

Google Adwords also seemed to be a popular channel for paid advertising. Unlike social media adversiting, Adwords is more technical to setup, and often much more costly.

28% of those surveyed are doing no paid advertising.

 


 

How are you making your digital strategy more effective in 2017?

And the most important question, where are you going?  Almost 70% of the respondents marked that they are going to do better planning in 2017 to help with their digital strategy.  44% of the organizations said they are going to work on training and improving their knowledge.  Based on the responses relating to current “challenges”, these responses were not all too surprising.

What was interesting though, was that only 25% of the survey respondents were planning on increasing their digital marketing budget for 2017. It seems the issue for many marketers is not how much they are spending, but where they are planning and spending their resources.

 


 

Thank you to everyone that took part in our survey!