B2B Marketing Blog

Here's An Industry Comparison Of The Most Widely Used Marketing Channels

By Andrew Nguyen
Nov 30, 2016
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In the our annual State of Pipeline Marketing survey we asked over 350 marketers which marketing channels they invest their time and budget in.

We tallied their answers and aggregated them down by industry to provide you a snapshot of how different industries find, engage and generate new customers.

If you're interested in knowing the marketing channels most used by your industry peers, or how marketing budgets may typically get allocated, then keep reading. 

How The Marketing Channel Data Is Generated

industry comparison most popular marketing channels-01.jpg

In our survey, marketers selected every marketing channel they used and indicated their industry.

We then added the totals, grouped by industry, and calculated the percentages to normalize the numbers due to the different number of marketers per industry who responded to our survey.

We can think of these results as how different industries focus their marketing efforts in terms of channels and tactics. We find that different industries spend more time, focus, and effort on certain channels.

We can think of the results as the unique marketing strategies inherent to each industry.

You can click the infographic to enlarge it, but below we dive into some of the industries in more detail.

A Close Look At The Most Popular Marketing Channels For The Software, Internet and Technology Industry

The marketing strategy for many technology companies can be described as running the gamut, i.e. doing it all. This is consistent with our findings that show technology companies focusing their efforts relatively equally across numerous channels, from paid media to outbound calling. 

most popular marketing channels chart for technology and software industry.jpg

Tech companies are investing in almost every channel except for TV ads, print and radio. 

Consumer Goods And Services Invest Heavily In Paid Media

For consumer goods and services, i.e B2C, there's a stark contrast to the shape of the rose chart. This is consistent with our intuition as B2C companies invest heavily in brand advertising with video ads, display ads, retargeting, social media, and paid search

most popular marketing channels consumer goods and services industry b2c.jpg

Also expected is the lack of outbound calling and lower emphasis on trade shows and conferences. 

Financial Services Marketers Rely Heavily On Email Marketing

For financial services it's no surprise that email is a heavy area of focus for marketers. Relationships, trust and communications is important for consumer-finance or commercial banking services. As a result, email marketing is a likely driver for nurturing leads and sending educational content. 

most popular marketing channels for financial services companies chart.jpg

We also see an emphasis on SEO. This is likely due to local SEO being important fo financial service firms serving specific cities and regions.

Marketing Agencies Rely On Content, Referrals And Paid Social To Generate Business

The chart for marketing and advertising agencies shows a distinct focus on several channels including content marketing, referrals, email and social. 

We expect marketing agencies to prove their expertise through case studies and educational content. Paid social makes a fitting distribution channel for this content, and so too does email marketing. 

chart most popular marketing channels for marketing agencies.jpg

Working with an agency requires forming a strong partnership. With product launches, campaigns with massive budgets, and often long timelines it's no wonder word-of-mouth is so important.

Business professionals don't want to an unvetted agency to fulfill the important job of marketing, so word-of-mouth marketing is a major focus area for agencies. 

Conference and Trade Shows Are Essential Channels For Manufacturers

In a previous post we found that the majority of marketers in the manufacturing industry chose trade shows as the channel with the greatest impact on revenue. So it's no surprise that manufactuers include tradeshows as a heavily used channel.

chart showing most popular marketing channels in manufacturing industry.jpg

Email marketing and SEO is also used widely. Seasonal offers, industry news, and new products requires communicating with distributors and wholesalers. So it's no surprise that email marketing is also widely used by marketers in the manufacturing industry.

Conclusion

It's been an interesting examination in the diversity of marketing strategies and focus areas. Knowing the marketing channels and activities most used in industries such as technology and consumer goods can help marketers think about how they balance marketing efforts at their own organizations. 

Every dollar spent on these marketing channels should deliver business value. When it comes to measuring the outcomes of marketing investments, marketers implement a smart marketing attribution solution. 

No matter what industry you're in we hope you enjoyed this tour across industries and marketing strategies. The data used for this analysis comes from our annual report, The State of Pipeline Marketing. You can download it by clicking the link below.

State of Pipeline Marketing Report 2016  An annual study of how B2B marketers drive growth, including data on  priorities, channels, technology, and more.  Download Now

Topics: pipeline marketing, marketing channels

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