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A joint MDM-Real Results Marketing survey reveals that distributors are increasingly relying on search marketing instead of email marketing. This article examines how distributors across sectors approach marketing, what they consider the most effective channels to be and the frequency with which they conduct their different marketing vehicles.
Over the last three years of the joint MDM-Real Results Marketing annual survey, search marketing has overtaken email marketing as the most important marketing vehicle for distributors.
While this trend is driven by the increased deployment of e-commerce sites, our observation is that most respondents are placing more emphasis on corporate marketing with search rather than product marketing.
This year saw the percentage of respondents describing search marketing as very important at 47 percent, while email marketing remained at 36 percent.
Last year was a bit more balanced, with 38 percent of respondents describing search marketing as very important and 36 percent considering email marketing as very important.
Two years ago, 42 percent of respondents considered search marketing very important while 36 percent considered email marketing very important.
Satisfaction with marketing programs
In this year’s survey, we again asked respondents to rate their satisfaction with results of their company’s marketing initiatives. Respondents who answered “extremely satisfied” were classified as high performers; respondents who answered “very satisfied” or “moderately satisfied” were classified as moderate performers; and respondents who answered “slightly satisfied” or “not at all satisfied” were classified as underperformers.
This year’s data reveals something intriguing. Just under 6 percent of respondents were extremely satisfied with their marketing (see Figure 1). This article will explore what those top performers are doing so well.
Marketing vehicle frequency
Survey respondents were asked to rate the frequency of their marketing vehicles as daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually or not at all. Figure 2 shows the total percentage of respondents who used each marketing vehicle in 2017
This table, indicating the prevalence of each marketing vehicle, revealed two interesting conclusions. First, it showed a modernizing trend, which is the widespread use of email and search marketing. Second, it showed that social media and print catalogs were fairly similar in frequency, despite their truly disparate uses.
If your company is interested in corporate marketing, social media is helpful. If interested in product marketing, print catalogs may still be preferred.
The best practices for frequency of contact through each marketing vehicle varies. For example, print flyers have the greatest effect when done monthly to quarterly. Anything more or less frequently yields weaker results, and possibly lower ROI. Table 1 displays our assumptions about the optimal frequency of marketing vehicles gauged in this survey, except mass media.
Best practices frequency
With this in mind, we can begin an analysis of the three groups of performers – high, moderate and low – and reveal how often each of them are engaging in marketing best practices.