Marketing consultants spend lots of time helping their clients find and win customers. But how good are they at their own marketing? And are they making best use of digital marketing opportunities?
To find out, Our Social Times teamed up with digital marketing experts, Constant Contact, with support from Smart Insights and Enterprise Nation, to ask more than 130 UK marketing consultants and agencies how they promote their own services. During April and May we gathered their feedback on critical issues such as:
- What types of marketing they engage in
- How effective each marketing activity is
- Whether they are used for raising awareness or lead generation
- What they spend on each activity
- Whether they are planning to increase their budgets in 2015
- What factors they feel are limiting their marketing success
- Which sources of information they rely on the most
We are now delighted to be launching our UK Marketing Consultants: Digital Marketing Report, which sets out the key insights from our research in a highly digestible and engaging format.
With 81% of the survey respondents being micro-businesses (with fewer than five staff) the report offers a snap-shot of the habits, fears, entrepreneurialism, financial strains and sociable nature of the average UK marketing consultant.
We’ve pulled out a few key statistics:
- The top four marketing activities that UK marketing consultants engage in are content marketing, social media, SEO and email (see image above)
- 38% spend 81-100% of their marketing efforts on digital.
- 13% say 80% of their marketing still happens offline.
- Content marketing, social media and email marketing are considered the most effective marketing activities.
- 68% say PPC (Pay-Per-Click advertising) is ineffective and 65% say online advertising is ineffective.
- Email marketing is best for lead generation while social media is best for driving awareness.
- £50 per month is the maximum spend on most activities.
- Two thirds of marketing consultants spend nothing on PPC or advertising.
- The biggest factors limiting the marketing success of consultants are lack of time and lack of resources (including money).
For me, perhaps the most fascinating findings are hidden behind the facts. There is clear evidence that UK marketing consultants are highly confident of their own abilities – most don’t see ‘lack of knowledge’ or ‘creativity’ as limiting factors. Similarly, they would rather spend their own time, creating content, for example, than outsource this to a specialist. This may keep outgoings to a minimum, but there’s a suggestion that they may also be undervaluing their time.
Somewhat surprisingly the consultants we surveyed cited their primary sources of information as – each other. Social media channels such as Twitter and LinkedIn topped the chart of frequently used information sources, along with niche marketing blogs and news sites. Email newsletters retain a strong presence among weekly news sources.
We will be publishing our full findings with additional insights and expert commentary in series of posts over the coming weeks. We’d welcome your input. Do the results reflect your own experience? Have we missed anything critical?