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1 Benchmark Report Marketing: Sponsored By: 2014 Demand Metric Research Corporation in Partnership with Ascend2. All Rights Reserved.

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS 3 Executive Summary 11 Changes to Marketing Effectiveness 4 Achieving Revenue Goals 12 Tactic Execution 5 Marketing Objectives 13 Marketing Resource Usage 6 Current Marketing Success 14 Programs & Channel Integration 7 Obstacles to Marketing Success 15 Marketing Software Improvements 8 List Size 16 About Marketo 9 Tactic Usage 17 About Demand Metric & Ascend2 10 Tactic Effectiveness 18 Appendix Survey Background

3 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY still dominates as a marketing and sales channel. For many years, has enjoyed favored status as a marketing and sales channel. However, the challenges in the way of marketing success continue to mount: legislation, filtering & blocking technology and the reluctance of recipients to engage via are growing obstacles to success. These challenges are worsening, quite likely because of batch & blast practices and overall poorly conceived campaigns. In short, it s becoming harder to use as a marketing channel. While most marketers are diversifying into additional channels, few have abandoned . It s familiar, inexpensive and still gets results. What will marketing success look like in the year ahead and how will marketers achieve it? To find out, Demand Metric in partnership with Ascend2 fielded the Marketing Survey and completed interviews with 518 marketing and sales decision-makers and practitioners from around the world. We thank these busy professionals for sharing their valuable insights with you. The charts in this report compare the strategies and practices of companies that have succeeded in achieving or exceeding their revenue goals with those that have not. This research has been produced for your use. Put it to work in your own marketing strategy planning and presentation materials. Clip the charts and write about them in your blog or post them on social media. Please share this research credited as published. - Jerry Rackley, Chief Analyst Demand Metric 3

4 ACHIEVING REVENUE GOALS Figure 1: Percentage of Companies Achieving Revenue Goals 60% % of Companies Achieving Revenue Goals 50% 55% 40% 30% 20% 10% 12% 33% Two-thirds of companies responding to this survey are achieving or exceeding their revenue attainment goals. This distinction serves as a useful basis for comparing the marketing strategies and practices of these achievers to the one-third of companies that are not achieving revenue goals. 0% Exceeding revenue goals Achieving revenue goals Not achieving revenue goals 4

5 MARKETING OBJECTIVES Figure 2: Most Important Marketing Objectives for the Year Ahead Most Important Marketing Objectives Reduce unsubscribe rate 6% 5% Other 12% 8% Improve inbox deliverability 17% 12% Improve analytics 22% 18% Increase list growth 40% Increase brand awareness 30% 42% Improve click-through rate 50% 48% Improve lead nurturing 50% 54% Increase website traffic 43% 58% 0% 20% 40% 60% With two exceptions, the differences in responses between revenue goal achievers and non-achievers is not significant. The top two response choices are lead related: improving the CTR is a lead generation process goal, and lead nurturing is a critical follow-on to that process. All the objectives listed here have a link to revenue. Those organizations that did not achieve their goals seem to perceive that a greater emphasis on increasing website traffic and brand awareness are more likely to influence revenue goal attainment. Based on previous Demand Metric studies, all organizations should place a much greater emphasis on improving inbox deliverability rate, because it will have a favorable impact on every other objective on this list. 5

6 CURRENT MARKETING SUCCESS Figure 3: Ratings of Current Marketing Success 80% 70% 60% 50% Ratings of Current Marketing Success 72% 72% There is an undeniable symmetry to the data in this chart. Companies that have achieved or exceeded revenue goals are much more likely to rate their marketing program Very successful. Those companies that did not achieve revenue goals are equally more likely to rate their marketing program Not successful. 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 23% 24% 4% 5% Very successful Somewhat successful Not successful The reality is that organizations essentially choose where on this chart they will exist with respect to their marketing efforts. Success with is not random, but a function of investing in the technology and processes to generate the desired results. As long as continues to perform at some marginally acceptable level, improving its effectiveness remains important but not urgent. The organizations that are having the greatest success with are continually looking for ways to improve its use. 6

7 OBSTACLES TO MARKETING SUCCESS Figure 4: Most Challenging Obstacles to Marketing Success Obstacles to Marketing Success Other 4% 9% technology/platform 14% 14% Mobile device use 20% 18% SPAM regulatory compliance 13% 18% List hygiene/data quality 33% 28% Reaching the inbox 30% 34% list segmentation 33% 35% list growth 36% 38% Content relevancy 43% 43% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% As with the data presented earlier on Objectives, this data about challenges is not substantially different for either group in this comparison. Content relevancy is at the top of this list. This can refer to both the content of the , as well as the content offered in the , usually through some sort of landing page. Both are important, but content relevancy, starting with the subject line, takes precedence. When considering challenges to marketing, it s important to understand some basics: before the quality of content can be judged, it must first land in the inbox of the intended recipient. For this to occur, accurate addresses must reside in the mail list. So, list hygiene and data quality issues, while not at the top of this list, probably should be for most organizations. 7

8 LIST SIZE Figure 5: Changes to List Size Over the Past Year 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Changes to List Size 74% 56% 36% 20% 6% 8% Increased Stayed the same Decreased Despite the challenges of list growth, nearly threequarters of revenue achievers have increased the size of their list during the past year. This data suggests a relationship between list growth and achieving revenue goals. When coupled with high quality of marketing execution, list growth is indeed a lever for revenue growth. Simply growing the size of the list, however, does not guarantee success. Unless there is an emphasis on consistent high quality execution of the marketing process, list growth alone gains very little. It is entirely too easy to simply feed a bad marketing process with new addresses. For this reason, list growth should not be the sole improvement strategy for marketers. 8

9 TACTIC USAGE Figure 6: Tactics Used for Marketing Purposes Tactics Used for Marketing Purposes Sending autoresponse or drip campaigns Optimizing for mobile devices Engaging subscribers via social media Testing and optimizing messaging Integrating with other tactics Segmenting marketing lists Personalizing messaging Creating relevant and compelling content 31% 25% 43% 40% 50% 28% 57% 53% 65% 54% 69% 77% 82% 75% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% With the exception of the first two response options, the order of these tactics does not change for either group in this comparison, and the differences for most are not significant. The largest delta belongs to Testing & Optimizing Messaging and it is notable. Most organizations view testing as unnecessary or a luxury for which they have no time. It s also possible that some marketers don t understand how to conduct testing. Whatever the reasons, failure to test messaging denies the sender a major advantage. All the tactics listed here have merit. Organizations that test their messaging content discover that it doesn t take long to do, and it provides measurable effectiveness improvements. 9

10 TACTIC EFFECTIVENESS Figure 7: Most Effective Tactics Used to Achieve Objectives Engaging subscribers via social media Optimizing for mobile devices Sending autoresponse or drip campaigns Integrating with other tactics Testing and optimizing messaging Personalizing messaging Segmenting marketing lists Creating relevant and compelling content Most Effective Tactics Used 1% 3% 2% 2% 3% 3% 6% 9% 8% 6% 12% 21% 17% 11% 52% 46% 0% 20% 40% 60% Of the top three tactics used, only one is considered most effective by about half of all marketers: creating relevant and compelling content. Marketing is increasingly about content, as marketers realize the need to reach buyers with the content they re looking for early in the buying process. There is truth to the cliché that content is king. Better content is always an advantage. Marketers, however, should understand that as with many things marketers do, there are few silver bullets when it comes to tactics. Creating relevant and compelling content works best when combined with other tactics on this list, such as testing, personalization, list segmentation and others. 10

11 CHANGES TO MARKETING EFFECTIVENESS Figure 8: Changes to Marketing Effectiveness Over the Last Year 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Changes to Marketing Effectiveness 53% 54% 43% 14% 5% Improved Stayed the same Worsened remains as the workhorse for many campaigns and lead generation efforts. This is no surprise: it is familiar, low-cost and has a history of producing well. As a marketing channel, continues to thrive for most users. However, those companies achieving or exceeding revenue goals are much more likely to have seen marketing effectiveness improve in the past year. Increased effectiveness is not accidental, but the result of management, not just use, of this channel. The metaphor of a vehicle applies to marketing performance. Failure to engage in standard maintenance at regular intervals will result in performance deterioration and ultimately, failure. 11

12 TACTIC EXECUTION Figure 9: Most Difficult Tactics to Execute Most Difficult Tactics to Execute Sending autoresponse or drip campaigns Optimizing for mobile devices Engaging subscribers via social media Testing and optimizing messaging Personalizing messaging Segmenting marketing lists Integrating with other tactics Creating relevant and compelling content 5% 9% 6% 12% 7% 12% 9% 9% 9% 10% 13% 6% 14% 10% 37% 41% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% Creating content is not only the most effective tactic used, it is also the most difficult to execute for revenue achievers and under-achievers alike. It represents a challenge for many organizations, and not just within the realm of marketing. For many organizations, compelling content creation is a function of time or resources. This study has already revealed that content is the preferred tactic as well as most effective. If this is the case, building a business case to add content development resources to staff or use outsourced assistance should not be difficult. 12

13 MARKETING RESOURCE USAGE Figure 10: Resources Used to Create & Implement Marketing Campaigns 60% 40% Resources Used to Create Campaigns 58% 52% 41% Companies that are successful at revenue attainment are more likely to use a combination of internal and external resources to create and implement campaigns. They rely on specialized resources to selectively supplement internal skills and improve performance. Those not achieving revenue goals are more likely to use in-house resources only. 20% 0% 7% 9% Outsource all or most campaigns to an agency or consultancy Use a combination of outsourced and in-house resources Use in-house resources only The best way to create and implement campaigns is the way that works; where the resources come from to execute these campaigns is not a factor. As long as metrics exist that allow monitoring of campaign performance, marketers can know how internal or external resource are performing and hold them accountable. 13

14 PROGRAMS & CHANNEL INTEGRATION Figure 11: Marketing Channels Most Often Integrated with Programs Channels Integration with Programs Other Telemarketing Paid search or online ads Press or public relations Direct mail or print ads Online or offline events Blogs Social media (other than blogs) Landing pages 3% 3% 14% 14% 16% 14% 21% 20% 27% 22% 38% 25% 35% 40% 43% 64% 57% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% The conversion of a click-through to a lead or a sale is the predominant goal of a landing page. The effectiveness of is often determined by conversions attributed to the most often integrated channel: landing pages. The impact of is not fully realized when it is used in a silo. Cross-channel integration has a extending effect on the reach of the message, and savvy marketers often integrate their marketing efforts with multiple channels. Ideally, marketers will test to determine which combinations of channel integrations produce the best results. 14

15 MARKETING SOFTWARE IMPROVEMENTS Figure 12: Software Improvements to Current Marketing Platform Software Improvements to Current Platform Other Improved address validation Improved social integration Improved ease-of-use Improved deliverability optimization Improved customization capabilities Improved testing capabilities Improved mobile capabilities Improved analytics/data visualization 4% 3% 22% 27% 25% 26% 36% 29% 23% 33% 27% 37% 43% 38% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% Performance continues to drive budgets, and marketers who are not statisticians want more automated ways to obtain, visualize and analyze campaign data. A great deal of marketing now occurs through the use of standalone solutions or the CRM and Marketing Automation solutions. As marketers make decisions about any of these marketing platforms, all of the considerations on this list bear close investigation. Mobile capabilities, often overlooked, have never been more important, with estimates that up to 80% of all is initially read on a mobile device. 15

16 ABOUT MARKETO Marketing Software. Easy. Powerful. Complete. You want results and you want them fast. The Marketo platform is built by marketers, for marketers. Everything you need marketing automation, social campaigns, inbound marketing, sales apps, ROI reporting, - all in one place. For more information, visit 16

17 ABOUT DEMAND METRIC & ASCEND2 About Demand Metric Demand Metric is a global marketing research & advisory firm serving a membership community of over 40,000 marketing professionals, CEOs, and business owners with advisory services, 100+ research & benchmark reports, 20+ consulting methodologies, 50+ training e-workshops & courses, and a library of 500+ practical tools and templates. Using Demand Metric resources, members complete projects faster and with greater confidence, boosting respect for the marketing team and making it easier to justify needed resources. Our 1,200+ corporate clients range from start-ups to consulting firms to members of the Global To learn more about Demand Metric, please visit: About Ascend2 Ascend2 is a market research firm with over 50,000 research subscribers and survey panelists comprised of sales & marketing professionals. Each month they field new research studies and generate reports that typically include 12 to 18 pages of charts and analytical commentary. Demand Metric partners with Ascend2 to leverage their panel of research survey panelists and develop additional benchmark reports for community members. Learn more about Ascend2 at 17

18 APPENDIX SURVEY BACKGROUND Surveys are conducted online from a panel of more than 50,000 Ascend2 research subscribers, representing US and international marketing and sales decision-makers and practitioners in a range of contact roles, company types, sizes and geographic regions. The questionnaire used incorporates standardized research practices across all studies while maintaining a proven 3-minute survey format. Survey findings are examined in a quantitative context by experienced analysts and reported objectively. The Demand Metric and Ascend Marketing Benchmark Report was administered online in February During this period, 518 responses were collected that were qualified and complete enough for inclusion in the analysis. Summarized below is the basic categorization data collected about respondents to enable filtering and analysis of the data: Primary Role of Respondent: Owner or Officer (37%) Marketing or Sales Management (40%) Marketing or Sales Staff (15%) Other (8%) Employee Size: More than 1000 (16%) 101 to 1000 (22%) 10 to 100 (28%) Fewer than 10 (33%) 18

19 Benchmark Report For more information, visit us at: Demand Metric Research Corporation 562 Wellington Street London, ON, Canada N6A 3R Demand Metric Research Corporation in Partnership 2013 Demand with Ascend2. Metric Research All Rights Corporation. Reserved. All Rights Reserved.

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