We recently carried out an Internet Marketing Surveyamong local businesses to get a better understanding of company activities and needs online.

untitled3I greatly appreciate the time that people took in completing the survey and wanted to share some of the results.

For those who were not involved in the internet marketing survey, there were a series of questions around current online marketing activities, areas of interest and plans for marketing in the near future. Of the respondents to the survey, 85% were either business owners or managers with marketing responsibility.

Internet Usage

  • 90% of respondents said that they “currently market their business online”
  • 30% sell online
  • 50% generate leads online
  • 15% provide product or customer support

I was a little surprised by the relatively low percentage of respondents who use the Internet to provide product or customer support. It would appear from this that although most companies are using the internet to generate leads and sales, there is a significant opportunity to save cost and/or improve customer experience through the internet that is not being utilised.

What Online Tools Are Being Used

  • 88% Website
  • 50%  Social Media
  • 35% Email Marketing
  • 25% Paid Search Marketing or Pay Per Click
  • 22% Blog
  • 1% Mobile

I felt that there were a few surprises here

  • Social Media is being used more than Email. Even though email marketing has been around a lot longer, it is lagging behind Social Media as an Online Marketing Tool. Email marketing has been shown to give excellent return on investment, while it is hard to demonstrate the same results with Social Media. So why is Social Media more popular? Perhaps it is due to Social Media being more accessible and less formal.
  • Blogging as low as 22%. In one sense this was higher than I had expected – many companies that I have spoken to are reluctant to start blogging for various reasons. However the benefits of blogging over time are significant. It “humanises” the organisation, giving the business an opportunity to interact with clients and potential clients. Adding quality content to a blog builds a significant resource over time that will bring clients. Compared to Paid Search or Pay Per Click which has a higher usage, the long term benefits or a blog are significantly higher.
  • I think the biggest surprise for me was Mobile – despite the ever growing use of smart phones and engagement via mobile devices, only 1% of respondents had a dedicated mobile site. I am not sure whether this is an uncertainly about mobile usage, or a belief that a regular site will work to an acceptable level on a mobile device, but I expect that there will a significant change in this area in the short to medium term.

Web Analytics

56% of respondents use web analytics. This effectively means that almost half of the respondents are not managing their online activities. Given that web analytics are effectively free to use and that most respondents indicated that they were planning to increase their investment online this number should be increasing.

Which Social Media Platforms are you using for Business

  • 61% LinkedIn
  • 52% Facebook
  • 31% Twitter
  • 24% You Tube
  • 16% Google Plus
  • 11% None

LinkedIn is the clear winner here, which is what I would see in talking to clients on a regular basis. Facebook is not far behind, but Twitter is a distant third. Although Google Plus has a long way to go to threaten Facebook – it is gaining momentum. If you are interested in this topic, you could check out this blog post Google Plus vs Facebook – Which Is The Best Marketing Tool For Small Businesses?

In what areas do people want more information, tips or help?

The results indicated a strong level of interest across all topics listed, but the top ones were

  • Social Media, in particular LinkedIn
  • Website Improvements/SEO
  • Analytics
  • Of least interest was Paid Search Marketing or Pay Per Click.

I will try to focus future blog posts and communication in these areas a bit more.

I would be very interested in your comments or feedback on this. Although it is great to see Internet Marketing Survey information from around the world, I think there is a lot of value in seeing what real businesses are doing in the local area.

Again I would like to thank those who participated in the Internet Marketing Survey, and for the feedback provided.