In July of 2012 WebStrategies Inc. developed and administered a survey. The purpose of the survey was to better understand the needs and challenges of the business owner and marketing manager. The survey inquired into marketing activities in general, online marketing and measurement of marketing activities. The survey was distributed to 116 business owners (excluding start-up’s), marketing managers at larger firms and decisions makers at marketing agencies. 87 surveys were completed.
Marketing Needs and Challenges
Generating prospects, sales and acquiring new customers were reported as the most pressing marketing issues with 72% of respondents rating “increasing sales” as their top priority and acquiring new customers (64%) and lead generation (36%) as the other top priorities.
In terms of challenges associated with online marketing, respondents reported that measuring results and maximizing ROI (37%), and identifying the right online tools to use (36%) were their greatest challenges. Additionally, 26% of respondents sought help with SEO (search engine optimization) and another 22% sought help with having an effective website.
Respondents have a very favorable view of marketing and the impact it can have on their businesses. 92% of respondents were either very or somewhat confident that better marketing on their part would have a positive impact on their businesses. Also, 69% of respondents felt their current marketing efforts were well targeted to their desired prospects.
The biggest problems/challenges faced by the respondent group were limited budgets due to the challenging economic climate (32%), acquiring new business (30%), getting an acceptable ROI on marketing and other investments (26%), allocating resources to the right activities (24%) and not having enough time in the day (23%).
61% of respondents considered online marketing to be extremely or very important to their overall marketing mix. Moreover, 37% of respondents reported that online is an important way prospects in their market find products/services and another 33% reported using online marketing efforts as a means to remain contemporary and leading edge.
Measuring the Effectiveness of Marketing Activities
Even though 88% of respondents felt measuring marketing effectiveness was extremely or very important, 34% don’t currently use web analytics in their measurement efforts. For those who do use web analytics, 22% used the data only to track only to track the number of visitors to their websites and another 22% reported using web analytics as a guide to make improvements.
Working with a Marketing Supplier and/or Agency
When asked about what motivates a business owner or marketing manager to work with a marketing supplier or agency, 42% of the respondents reporting having a lack of expertise to do it effectively, and another 19% reported not having adequate time to do it correctly. Regarding the most unsatisfactory elements respondents reported having upon working with a marketing supplier and/or agency, 35% reported it being too expensive. Additionally, 30% of the respondents claimed the supplier or agency never really understood the client’s business and another 30% experienced dissatisfaction with the lack of measurable results.