Digital ad spending is on the rise. The industry is headed for a $137 billion dollar payday, representing one quarter of all paid media spending worldwide. Gigaom says that’s up from last year and it should go up again in 2015, as 60% of the companies they surveyed said they were going to spend even more on digital marketing in the coming years.
Gigaom’s “Work horses and dark horses: digital tactics for customer acquisition” tells us that there are ten types of digital advertising that marketers use to acquire new customers, retain current customers, boost company awareness and push for conversions.
When asked which tactic was the most effective, across the board marketers said email. 56% (the highest percentage on the chart) said that it was the most effective tool for retention, way ahead of the next highest, social media with only 37%.
Even after singing its praises, marketers put email third on the list for spend. Social media was at the top with content marketing coming in second. Display and Paid Search came in on the second half of the chart – is our love for these old favorites waning?
On the flip side – customer acquisition – referral marketing was the standout.
In addition to bringing in new customers, marketers said they liked referrals because they were a good way of rewarding current customers. So, bonus!
What’s happening with social. . . same old, same old.
Marketers said they like it for customer retention and for branding but even though they’re investing more and more in social 52% of marketers still say they have a hard time quantifying the ROI. 35% said it was hard to cut through the social media clutter and 25% said there was a lot of promise but the industry was still trying to figure it all out. I’d agree with that.
On the upside, marketers liked social for keeping in touch with customers on a daily basis. They also felt it helped them understand their customers better.
The general consensus is that social is mostly free and easy to keep up, so why not? Besides, what would customers think of a company that doesn’t have a social media presence?
The takeaway here is that email is still alive and well and referral marketing is underused. Write those two statements on a piece of paper and think about them this week. Are you using both of those tactics in the best way possible? I’ll bet there are small changes you can make that would result in a big difference.