Companies world-wide are cutting costs as well as looking for creative, high impact and accountable marketing. With concerns over the recession and its impact on marketing, I recently ran a poll of the 17,000 subscribers atÂ Online Marketing Blog to discover their intentions for digital marketing tactics in 2009.
Poll respondents cast 1,559 votes for their top three digital marketing tactics (from a list of 45) for 200. Blogging, Twitter and Search Engine Optimization topped the list. Out of the top ten rated marketing tactics, six fell into the category of Social Media Marketing.
The actual question asked was, â€œWhat 3 digital marketing channels & tactics will you emphasize in 2009?â€ Here are the top ten tactics selected:
â€¢ Blogging (34%)
â€¢ Microblogging (Twitter) (29%)
â€¢ Search engine optimization (28%)
â€¢ Social network participation (Facebook, LinkedIn) (26%)
â€¢ Email marketing (17%)
â€¢ Social media monitoring & outreach (17%)
â€¢ Pay per click (14%)
â€¢ Blogger relations (12%)
â€¢ Video marketing (10%)
â€¢ Social media advertising (7%)
Email marketing rated higher than PPC which is surprising given the budgets spent on PPC vs email. Some tactics are much easier to implement than others, or less expensive, which may explain a few of the top choices, such as Twitter.
Corporate web sites didnâ€™t rate in the top ten tactics. Does this mean the death of company web sites? Some companies are succumbing to the social media perspective to extremes, like the Skittles site which had been simplified to a page of search results from Twitter and then changed to their Facebook page. Others are adding social features to their company sites to complement existing messaging and functionality.
By now, most companies have their 2009 online marketing plans in place. Does this ranked order of tactics mean you should change up your online marketing mix? The answer is that digital marketing tactics should match the needs of the situation, company resources, the target market and end consumer preferences. The proper tactical mix for a digital marketing program could be anything from the 45 tactics listed in the TopRank Blog poll and still be successful as long as they support a valid strategy.
Some companies are prepared for digital and social media marketing programs and many are not. To get â€œreadyâ€, companies need to develop a social media roadmap and get up to speed on both best and worst practices. Whether those methods of reaching and communicating with customers reconciles with existing marketing plans or not, companies would do well to allocate resources to some level of ongoing social media training, testing and development of expertise in the social media space.