In January, we published the findings of the 2014 SMB Internet Marketing Survey.
In this post, I am going to share the result of further analysis from the same survey, this time comparing the data for certain Industries and their attitudes, spend and commitment to internet marketing.
The industries covered are selected based on the number of respondents within each industry. In total, we had 736 SMBs complete the survey from over 30 different industries.
We have only included analysis for 15 industries that had at least 20+ respondents. We felt that if an industry had below 20, we couldn’t trust the data; anomalies would have too great an impact on the averages and would skew the results.
The following 4 charts represent some of the key findings from this deeper analysis.
We can see a broad distribution of marketing budget allocation to online across the industries studied, ranging from 25% to 70%.
It’s not surprising that Web Designers and Marketing Businesses spend the majority of their marketing budgets online — they understand the channels, they know how to get good ROI and so they invest in it.
At the other end of the spectrum are Pet Services, Interior Designers and Shops. These industries spend the smallest percent of their marketing budgets on digital marketing. Perhaps they see the low returns from their digital marketing, have low understanding of the channels and have low confidence in them.
It’s useful to compare results of this chart with the previous chart to get a complete picture of confidence that different industries have in internet marketing.
Some industries, such as Construction and Mechanics, spend over 40% of their budget online and don’t plan to increase this. Do they find that further investment won’t deliver more customers? Are they committed to spending the other 60% on other offline channels because those channels reach customers that online doesn’t — e.g. trade customers, contractors, etc.?
Conversely, some industries – Insurance and Retail – spend less online right now but are more likely to increase their spend to digital in 2015.
Marketing businesses already spend a larger percent of their marketing budget online, and 65% of respondents said they planned to increase this — further evidence that it works for them and their confidence is high.
Interestingly, Tradesmen currently spend 44% of their budget online but are the least likely to increase that in the next 12 months. So this industry may not be a great one for search consultants to target or up-sell digital services to in 2015.
In overview, the results are very positive for Internet Marketing. All these industries say that Internet Marketing is effective rather than not effective with each industry returning >60% Effective or Very Effective.
However, certain industries (Financial, Tradesmen and Legal) had a much higher % of respondents who said it was Not Effective.
Tradesmen are the least likely industry to increase spend in 2015 (see previous chart) which is not surprising when we see that 33% of them say online marketing is not effective at bringing in new customers.
There is a similar correlation for the Legal sector — low effectiveness = no increase in budget allocation. We found this result surprising result given how competitive online legal marketing is and how many specialist legal marketing firms there are. Is this a symptom of too much competition? Is it too difficult and expensive for many practitioners to invest in or to see decent returns from the budgets they have?
For us, the most confusing result here is for Insurance businesses. This sector is most likely to increase their spend in 2015, but returned the lowest score for “Very Effective” (just 15%).
Marketing businesses are again extremely positive, with 45% saying Internet marketing is Very Effective at bringing in new customers. This is a useful, if not surprising, insight for other marketing consultants and agencies who are analyzing their own spend.
In this question, we asked SMBs to pick a statement which best summed up their feelings about Google+ Local/GMB. The statements covered the usability and importance of +Local/GMB, and we aggregated the answers into 3 “pots.”
Sentiments vary widely across different industries, with some businesses in each industry finding it confusing — so it’s clear that Google still has work to do to educate and convince some businesses of the benefits of +Local/GMB.
Cleaning, Medical and Marketing businesses are most positive (>60%) while Financial, Insurance and Interior Design are least positive (<40%).
Interestingly, 31% of Marketing professionals are confused by or frustrated with +Local/GMB. Given that it is their business to know digital channels inside and out, it is worrying that many still find it hard to work with.
Real Estate and Insurance businesses have the most negative sentiment. Real Estate agents have been the big losers since the Pigeon update with a huge drop in local pack results being served for real estate/realtor terms – so it isn’t surprising that these businesses would feel negatively about the service.
The full set of findings from this Industry analysis can be found on BrightLocal.
We publish data and analysis on 10 questions, including:
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