A report on the use of digital marketing channels by 500 US businesses published in July by DC-based market researchers Clutch states these findings:
- Top 3 channels respondents reported using are:
- Social media (81%)
- Website (78%)
- E-mail (69%)
- The least-used channel was Search Engine Optimization (SEO) (44%)
- Top 3 marketing goals reported were:
- Increase sales/revenue (28%)
- Improve brand awareness (19%)
- Convert leads (15%)
- The least frequently cited objective was Increase Website Traffic (11%)
Clutch analysts theorize that SEO is unpopular with businesses because:
- Businesses (i.e., the people with bottom-line responsibility) don't understand how SEO works in conjunction with other channels, and
- SEO doesn't produce results that are as obvious or immediate as those from other channels.
And I would add, regarding the finding that only 11% of businesses think they need to increase website traffic: That indicates a fundamental lack of understanding on the part of people with bottom-line responsibility of how paying customers are acquired in today's digitally connected and customer-driven world.
So: what can marketers do about this?
Marketers need to take the lead on website creation and measurement/improvement.
Because almost universally, websites are sold by designers and bought by businesses on the basis of slick graphical style, without regard to potential for attracting and converting the business's best prospective customers.
But marketers, and not Web developers, are going to be held accountable any failure of the website to produce expected results in terms of sales.
Marketers themselves need to understand the importance of having a website that attracts and converts qualified sales prospects, and on an ongoing basis sell that concept to those with bottom-line responsibility.