Over half of B2C marketers will be using email as part of their strategy next year.
But email is lagging behind other direct-response channels in budget spend, according to "Red Alert: Execs Reveal Disconnect Between 2022 Marketing Budget & Planning," a study from Wpromote, conducted by Ascend2.
When viewed as a direct-response channel (i.e., one used when a brand seeks a response from a targeted audience), 60% will be using email in 2022, followed by Google ads (56%), Facebook ads (52%)
Despite that, only 32% say email will get the most allocation budget in 2022, behind Google Ads (51%) and Facebook ads (42%).
Why the third-place finish for email?
“Successful marketers saw the increase in online shopping in 2021 and jumped at the opportunity to shift budgets to channels that could quickly capture new customers,” the study says.
In general, the most budgeted-for marketing channels next year will be paid search (46%) and email/SMS (38%). But only 33% will be increasing their spend for email/SMS, versus 48% for paid social and 47% for paid search. SEO ranks fourth in both listings.
SMS is included with email here because the evolution of email includes SMS marketing, the study states. “Email is old school, and the inbox has never been more competitive,” it adds.
The most effective channels in 2021 were:
In contrast, brands predict these channels will have the most impact on marketing performance in 2022. Again, email and SMS rank in the top three, with content marketing jumping up a notch:
Of course, all this depends on the vertical sector. Here are the channels leaders in these groups foresee as having the most impact on marketing performance in 2022:
Health & Personal Care
Of the brands polled, 40% say their marketing strategy was very effective at achieving their 2021 goals. And 47% say it was somewhat successful. Only 13% say they were unsuccessful, 7% very much so.
But there are additional disconnects between 2021 performance and 2022 budgets. For instance, while Converged TV was rated as most effective by only 8%, 20% will give it a significant budget allocation in the year to come. SMS will also benefit from such a split.
Here are the strategies or tactics that brands say will have the most impact on marketing in 2022:
Once again, it varies by sector:
Health & Personal Care
How will companies measure performance? Here are the most effective KPIs:
In addition, 29% of marketing leaders say they will devote between 10% and 20% of their budget next year to upper funnel initiatives, and 38% will allocate between 25% and 50%. Another 10% will spend between 50% and 75%, 6% more than 75% and 5% less than 10%. And 12% are unsure.
Regarding email, the report concludes: “Email may be the oldest direct-response channel, but is still the most frequently used because it
is easy to track and measure.
“It’s fairly easy to capture email addresses using other channels and to collect more data to optimize your email campaigns. As first-party data becomes ever more important, email will continue to stay central to marketing strategies in 2022, even as inboxes snow signs of strain from the constant bombardment.”
Ascend2 surveyed senior-level marketing professionals and a curated list of marketing research subscribers with revenue of more than $50 million per year and active in B2C.
Of those, 37% work for companies whose primary industry is in professional services (37%), retail (20%), health and personal care (19%), Home and Transportation Services (13%), hospitality (8%) and entertainment (3%).