2017 Digital Marketing Plans - Ascend2

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2017 DigitalMarketing Plansfor Small and Medium BusinessesResearch Conducted in Partnership with Ascend2

Table of Contents2017 Digital Marketing Plans for SMBs3Planning for Digital Marketing Success4Most Important Strategic Goals5Most Significant Success Barriers6Digital Marketing Planning Resources Used7Strategic Goals Versus Success Barriers8Most Effective Tactical Channels9Want to learn the factors ofsuccessful lead-generationstrategies and tactics, withfindings and recommendationsmost pertinent to the SMBmarketer and sales director?How Channel Effectiveness is Changing10Download our eBook :Most Difficult Channels to Execute11Increasingly Complex Sales Cycle for SMBs12Lead Generation andManagement for SMB Salesand MarketingTactical Effectiveness Versus Executional Difficulty13About the Research Partners152

2017 Digital Marketing Plans for SMBsFor Small and Medium Businesses, creating an effective digitalmarketing plan relies on adapting to constant change throughcontinuous improvement.But what strategies and tactics will drive digital marketingsuccess for SMBs in the year ahead?To find out, Act-On Software in partnership with Ascend2 fielded the2017 Digital Marketing Plans Survey.The data in this edition of the study, titled 2017 Digital MarketingPlans for Small and Medium Businesses, exclusively represents theopinions of 142 marketing influencers working for businesses withfewer than 500 employees. We thank these busy professionals forsharing their insights with us, and you.This research has been produced for your use and can be used inyour own marketing strategy planning and presentation materials.Clip the charts and write about them in your blog or post them onsocial media. Please share this research credited as published.Michelle HuffChief Marketing Officer for Act-On SoftwareMethodologyAscend2 benchmarks theperformance of popular digitalmarketing practices using astandardized questionnaire andproprietary 3-Minute Surveyformat. This survey wasconducted from a researchsubscriber and marketinginfluencer panel the week ofDecember 4, 2016.The exclusive segmentrepresented in this reportincludes the following:Role in the CompanyOwner / Partner / CXOVP / Director / ManagerNon-Management38%51%11%Primary Marketing ChannelB2B43%B2C39%B2B and B2C Equally18%3

Planning for Digital Marketing SuccessWhile more than a quarter of SMBs (26%) describe the success oftheir digital marketing as “best-in-class” compared to competitors,nearly the same percentage (24%) still consider their organizations’efforts unsuccessful to some extent.Best-in-Class companies are67%more likely to use a marketingautomation platform such as Act-OnSoftware.Sign up to see a live demowww.act-on.com/live-demo/2017 Digital Marketing Plans Survey, Act-On and Ascend2, Published January 20174

Most Important Strategic GoalsThe ultimate purpose of marketing for small and mediumbusinesses is to drive sales. That’s why 59% of SMB marketinginfluencers point to increasing sales revenue as a most importantgoal for their digital marketing strategy in 2017.A high-performance marketingplan can help you understandhow your programs are doing,tie them back to revenue, andshow you where you should beprioritizing your time.Get started on your plan todaywith this six-step blueprint fordeveloping a high-performancemarketing plan.Download your copy of TheHigh-Performance MarketingPlan: A 6-Step Blueprint ToExceeding Your Goals2017 Digital Marketing Plans Survey, Act-On and Ascend2, Published January 20175

Most Significant Success BarriersSMBs must face many barriers to digital marketing success. Fornearly half (45%), a most significant success barrier to overcome isobtaining an adequate budget to fund digital marketing plans.The CMO's Five MostImportant InitiativesSMB’s face challenges at everyturn. Your CEO wants bigresults, your CFO wants you tocome in on budget, and yourstaff wants assurance you’reheaded in the right direction.Wouldn’t it be great if you couldcompare what you’re doingwith how other marketingleaders are dealing with thesechallenges? We talked to anumber of CMOs and askedwhat they’re focusing on togrow their sales and revenues,and what they’re doing to avoidproblems. They shared theirinsights on 5 top initiatives.Click here to get your copytoday!2017 Digital Marketing Plans Survey, Act-On and Ascend2, Published January 20176

Digital Marketing Planning Resources UsedThree-quarters of SMBs (75%) outsource all or part of planningtheir digital marketing strategy. Outsourcing enables companies togain performance-improving experience not available in-house.Knowing when to outsource ordo the work in-house can be achallenge. Listen to ourReThink Podcast, Episode #8,and get the perspective from anagency owner. He’ll also sharethe one question he wishedclients asked him.Listen today! Or subscribe oniTunes.2017 Digital Marketing Plans Survey, Act-On and Ascend2, Published January 20177

Strategic Goals Versus Success BarriersPrioritizing important goals by comparing their significance as abarrier to success is an extremely helpful way for SMBs to developa well balanced and effective digital marketing plan for 2017.10 Ways Sales Benefits fromMarketing AutomationMarketing automation givessales teams not only new andexpansive visibility into thebuyer’s journey, but the abilityto effectively engage with theirhottest prospects and closemore deals.In this eBook, you’ll learn the10 key benefits marketingautomation offers sales,including how they directly tieto improved efficiency, fasterfunnels, and higher close rates.Download your copytoday!2017 Digital Marketing Plans Survey, Act-On and Ascend2, Published January 20178

Most Effective Tactical ChannelsA website is a most effective digital marketing channel for abouttwo-thirds (66%) of SMBs. Email and social media are nearly aseffective for more than half (54% and 51% respectively) of SMBs.WEBINAR: Nurturing YourAudience Across DigitalChannelsLearn how to nurture youraudience across tacticalchannels, from your website topaid retargeting advertising.Join Linda West, Director ofMarketing at Act-On Softwareand Rodrigo Fuentes, CoFounder and CEO ofListenLoop, as they discuss howto extend your nurturingcapabilities across digitalchannels so you can generatemore sales ready leads.Watch today!2017 Digital Marketing Plans Survey, Act-On and Ascend2, Published January 20179

How Channel Effectiveness is ChangingThe effectiveness of digital marketing channels is increasingsignificantly for 31% of SMBs and marginally for another 58%.Only 11% of SMBs are experiencing a decrease in effectiveness.5 Digital Marketing Mistakesand How to Fix ThemIn this eBook, we explore thefive most common mistakespeople make in digitalmarketing, and also explorehow to fix those mistakes. Inthe end, you’ll have a goodsense of where the mostcommon digital marketinglandmines are, and what youcan do to avoid them or fixthem.Download the eBook.2017 Digital Marketing Plans Survey, Act-On and Ascend2, Published January 201710

Most Difficult Channels to ExecuteSMBs consider their website and organic search equally difficultchannels to execute. The performance of both channels may benefitfrom advanced skills and resources not always available in-house.3 Tactics for Creating SEOFriendly ContentContent marketing has becomean important piece of a moderndigital marketing plan.Marketing teams are producingmore content than ever, all toattract more potential buyers totheir web properties. In thisnew digital landscape, writersand content marketers are keyplayers in the searchoptimization equation, butmost don't yet know the rulesof the SEO road.Watch today.2017 Digital Marketing Plans Survey, Act-On and Ascend2, Published January 201711

Increasingly Complex Sales Cycle for SMBsAs sales cycles become more complex, many digital marketingplans are focused on achieving strategic goals using tacticalchannels that efficiently keep customers engaged longer term.Marketing: The New Stewardsof the Customer RelationshipOur eBook provides five conciserecommendations forimproving customerengagement and re-definingmarketing’s role in thecustomer lifecycle.Read it today and learn howyou can improve your bottomline!2017 Digital Marketing Plans Survey, Act-On and Ascend2, Published January 201712

Tactical Effectiveness Versus Executional DifficultyDigital marketing channels that are more difficult to execute thaneffective – such as organic search – benefit from outsourcing,which is often subject to success barrier #1, an adequate budget.Creating an InboundMarketing StrategyCreating a winning inboundmarketing strategy can attractthe attention of customers andprospects, giving you theopportunity to build powerfulcustomer relationships.There are several tools to helpyou do this effectively but it canbe difficult to determine justwhere to start. In this guide, wewill walk you through 4 simplesteps to create an inboundmarketing strategy that willattract and convert better leads.2017 Digital Marketing Plans Survey, Act-On and Ascend2, Published January 201713

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About the Research PartnersThis work is licensed under theCreative Commons AttributionNonCommercial 3.0 UnportedLicense.Our Mission: To Delight Small Marketing Teams with Big Ambitions!Act-On Software is the world's fastest growing marketing automationcompany; its cloud-based marketing automation platform is thefoundation of successful marketing campaigns everywhere – fromsmall, simple and direct, to complex globally implemented programs.Learn more at Act-On.comYou may adapt, copy, distributeand transmit this work.However, you must attribute thework as produced by Act-On andAscend2 but not in any way thatsuggests that they endorse youor your use of the work.Research-Based Demand Generation for Marketing Solution Providers.Marketing software and data companies, and digital marketingagencies, partner with Ascend2 to reliably generate demand andsupplement marketing content for their firms. Our Research PartnerPrograms are transparent – focusing on your brand and the interests ofyour target audience.Learn more at Ascend2.com15

2017 Digital Marketing Plans Survey, Act-On and Ascend2, Published January 2017 5 Digital Marketing Mistakes and How to Fix Them In this eBook, we explore the five most common mistakes people make in digital marketing, and also explore how to fix those mistakes. In the end, you'll have a good sense of where the most common digital marketing

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