It's planning season! Time to forecast next year, and build the marketing plan that will deliver the goods.
If you're building your plan and the digital portion is underfunded, consider restricting your approach.
Here are a few digital marketing data points you can cite to build your marketing plan for next year (read the online version to see the research citations).
Your Mobile Marketing Plan
The Stat: 92 percent of people who researched a product on a mobile device made a purchase within a day.
Some impressive mobile search data comes to us from a Google survey that also revealed most consumers (96 percent) prefer using their phone when it comes to mobile devices (sorry to those dusty tablets).
While 92 percent made a purchase, 76 percent of those folks actually visited a store as a result of their mobile search.
The 2017 Takeaway: Search marketing is still really important, especially on a mobile device. Search is one of those marketing tactics that spans the mobile and desktop web. But the value search holds to the consumer and the business on a mobile device is worth noting. If your business is not findable online -- especially on a mobile device -- you are missing customers and leads.
Your Social Media Marketing Plan
The Stat: 50 minutes is how much time you spend per day on Facebook.
Let's say we are awake 16 hours per day. Roughly an hour and a half of that time is spent on the daily commute, nine hours (including lunch) are spent at work (if you're lucky). Another two total hours are spent on eating breakfast and dinner. Adding that up, you have just 3.5 hours of your waking day left. If you have kids, that time is now gone. Yet, you still managed nearly an hour on Facebook!
The rise of social media as a natural part of all of our lives -- even in the business-to-business target audience set -- proves that social media is a mainstream media.
The marketing assumption many make is that Facebook is just for the consumer (non B2B) audience, but that is a mistake. In fact, a recent study shows that 84 percent of B2B marketers use Facebook to make sure their information is reaching a broad audience. Are you one of them?
The 2017 Takeaway: If you are reading this as a skeptical B2B marketer, it is time to acknowledge the relevance of social media and leverage how it can reach and activate your audience. If you are reading this as a retail or B2C marketer with a half-hearted social approach, it's time to get serious about social -- your audience is.
Your Website and Search Marketing Plan
The Stat: Websites with between 401 and 1,000 pages of content receive 6x more leads than sites with 51-100 pages.
Despite all of the angst around the constantly shifting rules of Google and how organic searches work, the simple truth of "more pages and more content is better" will always prevail. If Google is convinced that your website is constantly updated with content that is consistent with what your website is all about, then your website will elevate on the search results page.
The 2017 Takeaway: If it has been four or five years since you built your website, build a new one. The rules of the web have changed in that time, the quality of your design has diminished, and your content is likely stagnant and ignored by Google. Rebuild, and also build a website strategy this time, not just a website. Have a roadmap for the type of content you want to add to your site, and then add it each month so Google sees consistent efforts and elevates your site.
There is a lot to absorb here.
The investment in a great website, search marketing, and a solid social media strategy is measurably effective, though. As you build your strategy next year, make sure you have enough focus on these digital essentials.
Josh Gordon is an award-winning marketing communications professional and President of Full Spectrum Marketing, a full-service advertising agency with digital roots based in Kent, Ohio and Wooster, Ohio. You can reach Josh at email@example.com.