What Are the Best Marketing Channels for Your Business?

I recently read, and wanted to share, a very helpful report about channel marketing by industry, which reinforces what I’ve been saying for a long time to my contacts and clients: it’s not important to be on every social media channel, it’s important to be on the right one, or perhaps to take another approach to marketing altogether to build a stronger avenue to customers and clientele.

The 2015 State of Pipeline Marketing (sounds pretty dull, right? But the findings are super useful) interviewed 370 marketers to learn which marketing channels provide the best returns for the businesses they serve. The survey revealed that SEO, content marketing, and email marketing top the list for several industry categories while events and conferences, partner marketing, and a variety of other options made their way to the top of the survey as well.

Again, the survey was intended to determine which marketing channels have the greatest impact on revenue for B2B relationshipsaccording to the respondents. Good to know.

Now, there are way more industries than the ones from which bizible, the survey sponsor, retrieved most of its data. It got the largest samples from the fields of Business Support, Logistics and Manufacturing,  Technology, SaaS (software as a service), Education, Financial Services, Health Care and Pharmaceutical. But it’s pretty easy to extrapolate and graft that data onto other industries out there, particularly some of my favorites, including creative and hospitality services, real estate, and the legal profession (not to mention nonprofits, but that’s a different ballgame which often has different measures for success).

For the 14 industries represented by marketers, overall, email marketing won the day for generating demand — 89.2 percent of marketers said they use it with content marketing and SEO coming in close behind.

In any case, the survey also noted that marketers often have difficulty measuring the outcome of their actions because the attribution for the marketing channel can be kind of tricky. For instance, did a customer see an ad, call in, but never mention having seen the ad? Or did he or she first see a company at a local event, and then was reminded of it later by an ad on Facebook, which prompted him or her to call in because the memory was jogged?

It might seem like a minor issue for businesses with limited budgets or less concerned about their source as the volume of clientele (heresy, you say? You’d be surprised)  but knowing where to give credit is a useful tool.

For marketers, it’s always important and useful to know the value of one’s efforts, but at the very least, it’s essential to be able to give good advice on what’s the best route for a company. Yet, the study shows this isn’t done in many cases. I am confident this will change over time as the number of marketing channels continue to grow and business owners seek greater accountability, so it is something all marketers need to learn.

For business owners who want to know more about marketing channels, I urge you to look more closely at the results and think about whether or which marketing channels may be worth the investment for you.