Organic search proved to be the top-performing channel in 2017, and will be a top priority for marketers in 2018, according to survey findings released Tuesday. Respondents listed "paid search" or "pay per click" media as their second priority for 2018, and "social" as their No. 3 priority for next year.
Conductor's 2018 Marketing Executive Survey, with 500 participants, reveals statistics on strategy, technology, spend and success. The findings also suggest that marketers plan to spend more on technology this year compared with last.
Some 60% of marketing executives believe they will increase their focus on SEO campaigns in 2018. About 61% believe their overall focus on digital advertising will increase by some extent, while 76% said they will heighten their focus on content marketing.
Twenty-eight percent of marketing executives use more than 10 marketing technologies, while 43% use between six and 10 and 27% use between zero and five. Some 2% don't know the number.
About 68% of marketing executives will spend more on marketing tech in 2018, and 56% said they feel overwhelmed by the amount of data in their marketing technologies.
When asked how much marketing departments spend on tech, 28% of marketing executives said they spent more than 100,000 on marketing technology in 2017. About 13% spend up to $5,000. It seems that the average, 20%, spend between $6,000 and $20,000.
Marketing executives feel the least prepared to take on artificial intelligence. About one-third feel unprepared to handle artificial intelligence in 2018. Some 29% feel unprepared to take on virtual reality and augmented reality, while 23% feel unprepared for voice search; 11% do not feel ready for new social networks; and 3% cited "other."
Lack of budget ranks as the No. 1 challenge marketers see for 2018, followed by having the correct team, not enough time, lack of cross-functional supporting, and the inability to prove return on investments.
Respondents to the survey listed “revenue” and “conversions” as their top two metrics for success in 2018. This is a shift from last year, when executives listed “leads” and “traffic” as main Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).