Website still considered most important marketing channel for majority of businesses

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In the Econsultancy / Oracle Marketing Cloud ’Cross-Channel Marketing Report 2015’ - where the question posed was ’Which three marketing channels are the biggest priorities for your organisation over the next year? The most mentioned ended up being Website, by a clear margin (57%), then Email (48%) and Social Media (42%), with SEO (34%) and Paid Search (18%) rounding off the top 5.


There’s a strange distinction in this survey between first placed ’Website’ and 6th placed ’Mobile Web’ (15%). Where responsive-design typically combines the two categories. There is also no mention of Native Advertising, while 7th placed Online Display Advertising gets 12%.


The respondents also believe that Social Media has the most future potential. Where Social is quite a fragmented space - consisting of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube amongst others, to name just a few ...


Much has been made of the shifting paradigms in SEO and the difficulty in securing traffic from other sites without some form of payment. Some key publishers are putting a lot of their content onto platforms like Facebook, while others are trying to forge their own more independent way ahead. Many of these Channels have been bossed by Advertisers for quite some time now, but with Ad-blockers and other types of privacy and reader personalisation apps springing up, that hegemony is being challenged too. I can’t see that Web Retargeting has any sort of big future either with the rapid growth of ad and cookie blockers.


A website / mobile website is the only channel a company / brand can effect total control over - yet the tricky part of marketing is always one of joining the dots and securing traffic from those social and industry gateways through which large numbers of potential target audience members transit and circulate.


Many businesses are still making excellent use of social media through the running of clever viral campaigns which come across as less hard sell, yet still deliver significant numbers. Buzzfeed has been an excellent resource for lots of companies because of its amazing social reach. And a smart, well-targeted native listicle on Buzzfeed can work wonders.


Paid Search / PPC still has some traction, but it is a long-term drain with often very little residual effect. When competition gets fierce, strong branding & personality with high level service values is normally a winning combination. While more traditional forms - Television, Radio, Direct Mail and Telemarketing are suffering. I seem to be blocking 1 or 2 phone numbers a day where someone is trying to claim PPI or accident damages on my behalf, or upsell me on something I have no particular interest in. I point blank refuse to respond to such calls, so it’s no surprise that these channels are slowly falling away.


Email is still quite strong and does not seem to have suffered over much from all the anti-spam measures in place, and this old bastion of direct marketing still looks like it has some legs left, even though it is far harder to track and substantiate than it was before. I still rely on numerous daily subscriptions for news updates, new music, film, events and book releases to name a few.


Most of the above can all be driven through, targeted and tracked via the cleverest website technologies like Affino’s Unified Digital Business Platform. Truth is that one or two Channels rarely prove to be enough, you need a multi-channel and multi-iteration approach to secure ongoing business. If you do it right, you can identify, incentivise, motivate, track and reward all your customers through the same seamless system. I always advocate joined-up methodologies in both advertising and marketing. There are numerous resources out there in the world, but you need a massively seamless operation to achieve maximum benefit...

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