Talk about stubborn. The 2011 State of Digital Marketing Report from Webmarketing123 says SEO is the number one source of leads for both B2C and B2B marketers. Still, those surveyed say they plan to increase their social media marketing budgets in 2012, ahead of SEO and pay-per-click.

The Stats

Webmarketing123 surveyed more than 500 U.S. online marketers of the B2B and B2C variety in August and September of this year. As you can see in the graphs below, both groups agreed that SEO has the biggest impact on lead generation, the success of which is primarily measured by website traffic. Brand awareness was at the bottom of the list for measuring success by both B2B and B2C respondents.

Numerically speaking, 57 percent of B2B marketers credit SEO as their primary source of generating leads, while 41 percent of B2C marketers said the same. 


While these numbers might lead one to think that companies are getting ready to invest more money in SEO, Over half of they survey respondents (60%) said they plan to increase their budget for social media marketing in 2012. This decision can be explained in part by a couple of other statistics from the survey:

  • 68 percent say they’ve generated leads from either Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn
  • 55 percent have closed deals from social media leads

Webmarketing123 put together a handy infographic of the survey results: 


Seriously, People. Plan Wisely.

While it's great to have a plan, I think it's a bit unfortunate that brand awareness is at the bottom of the list of success measurement methods, and yet companies are looking to throw more money into the social media powerhouse. 

I recently covered some methods for such multi-channel marketing success, and creating a consistent brand message was number one on the list:

A brand is a commitment to provide consistent product performance and a repeatable level of service. Think about it: The world's biggest brands, such as Apple, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s, are models of consistency. You know what you're going to get because you've gotten the same thing for as far back as you can remember.

The growing number of channels for media consumption highlight the importance of a consistent message by making it easier for marketers to slip up— and boy, do they. According to a November 2010 report for Aberdeen Group titled "The Roadmap from Multi-Channel to Cross-Channel Retailing: The True ROI of Unified Customer Experience", only 32% of respondents could execute a unified promotional plan for all marketing channels. 

"Experience shows that a great many companies don’t invest the time and money to create a strategic marketing plan. The typical plan is to throw their budget, if they have taken the time to determine one, at multiple media outlets in the hope that something works. Quite often the message varies with each outlet – advertising / website / search optimization / social – as there is a lack of consistent message," said Tom Cartwright of Media Synthesis in a post aptly titled A Strategic Marketing Plan? Can’t We Just Throw Money at it?

Maybe all you B2C and B2B kids out there have been reconsidering your list of success measurement methods and I just don't know it, but as it stands, Cartwright's comment looks to hit the nail on the head.