More than half (57%) of marketers say their company website is one of the three most important marketing channels, closely followed by email, with 48%.
As spending on traditional print media declines, marketers are increasing their investment in digital channels. Digital media spend is expected to account for almost a quarter (24%) of worldwide advertising by 2016.
It is hardly surprising that website and email are still such a high priority for marketers given that these channels have historically been fundamental to any digital marketing strategy.
Q: Which three marketing channels are the biggest priorities for your organisation over the next year?
But social media marketing wasn’t too far behind with 42%, showing just how significant this channel has become. Even more interesting is the fact that respondents rated social media as offering the greatest opportunities over the coming year.
Here is a breakdown of the top three marketing priorities according to our respondents.
The increasing importance of mobile-optimised websites has led many brands to revisit their desktop site to see how it works as part of a coordinated multichannel strategy.
Marketers recognise that they’re building more than just a website. They have to think about the entire customer experience and make sure the website content is useful and consistent with the wider brand, as well as being properly search-optimised.
Not only that, but the website is often the first experience a consumer will have with a brand, so it needs to provide a coherent customer journey from the start.
Bearing all this in mind, website management is clearly an ongoing process with multiple factors involved. It therefore makes sense that marketers would cite this as their biggest priority.
Despite the growth of social media and instant messaging platforms, email continues to thrive. The number of worldwide email users is approximately 2.6bn and is expected to grow to over 2.9bn by 2019.
When managed effectively, email represents one of the most direct and personalised ways to communicate with existing and potential customers.
Another Econsultancy report found that 66% of companies rate email as either ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ in terms of return on investment.
While our survey respondents cited social media as the third most important channel, it was rated number one in terms of channels that offered the greatest opportunities over the next year.
Website and email came joint second on this question, with 37% each, while traditional media channels such as TV, direct mail and newspapers were virtually ignored.
Q: Which three marketing channels offer the greatest opportunities over the next year?
Clearly marketers continue to view social media as an excellent channel through which to engage with consumers.
And with figures from Statista predicting the number of social media users will rise from 1.79bn to 2.44bn globally by 2018, this channel’s importance is sure to keep growing.
To learn more, download our full Cross-Channel Marketing Report 2015.