Email, while the most widely deployed B2B channel, is not seen as the best — by far, according to The State of Multichannel Marketing, a study recently relapsed by PFL in partnership with Demand Metric.
Of the companies polled, 54% use three or four channels. Another 23% utilize five channels, and 14% employ six to nine.
Firms that use four to six channels are drawing the best response rates — 77% say they are good, versus 63% of companies using three or fewer channels.
Overall, the percentage of firms getting a good response rose from 60% to 65%.
But those claiming a very good response fell from 6% last year to 5% and those that did poorly from 4% to 5%. Worse, this year, 1% admit their results have been very poor, versus zero last year.
Demand Metric and PFL surveyed 589 marketers from May 21 through June 9. It is not clear whether the results were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
With that caveat in mind, here are the channels they are using:
So email leads in use.
At the same time, 70% say email is effective or very effective at reaching the target audience, a 2% increase over 2019. Still, email ranks only fourth among the channels in effectiveness:
Why does email rank highest in usage when it’s not seen as the most effective?
Let’s remember that these stats are about reaching audiences, not about ROI. Email is cheap and easy to use, an it may be that brands are sending too much of it.
Drilling, down, here is how email ranks when reaching certain audiences:
The Best Channels for Reaching The C-Suite
Reaching the End User (The Second-Most Commonly Targeted Audience)
Reaching the Technical Audience
Reaching the Sales/Marketing Audience
(Please note that email no longer falls into the top five for this audience).
Reaching the Financial Purchasing Audience
Finally, here are the success factors listed by the respondents. These contribute to ROI:
Here’s one last takeaway: 84% say direct mail improves multichannel campaign performance.