Survey Data on the Growth/Shrinkage of Web Marketing Channels in 2014

I recently downloaded ExactTarget’s 2014 State of Marketing, and found the data extremely compelling. Here’s what they had to say about methodology and respondents:

The 2014 State of Marketing survey was conducted online from October 24, 2013, until November 1, 2013. The survey was sent to more than 48,000 marketing professionals and a total of 2,651 marketers started the survey, with 1,959 surveys completed (74% completion rate).

Interestingly, Moz’s own industry survey was sent around the same time. 3,768 marketers started that survey and 2,526 completed (also a 74% completion rate). The results from ours are coming soon, but I thought I’d sneak a chart out and compare it against ExactTarget’s for this post.

Below is an amalgam of answers from two of the survey questions ExactTarget asked:


I found these responses fascinating for several reasons:

  • SEO is behind only email, social media, and landing pages in current areas of focus. Extrapolating out, the SEO field is absolutely massive, yet software companies in the field have failed to achieve the same kinds of traction as email or social (which both have multiple acquisitions in the hundreds of millions and multiple companies operating in those digits of revenue)
  • Despite being a very mature channel, email marketing is something nearly every marketer said they’re planning to increase in 2014. Part of that made me wonder if the ExactTarget audience was biased toward an email focus, though it’s hard to argue the power of that channel.
  • Marketing automation is clearly heating up dramatically. While only 43% of marketers say they use it today, it’s number one in expected increase at 60%.
  • Social seems to have achieved maturity and scale faster than SEO (which has been around since the late 1990’s vs. social’s emergence ~2007). And yet, it’s still forecasted for greater growth than SEO in the year ahead. Later in the report, ExactTarget focuses more deeply on social and notes that many marketers still have a very hard time showing its ROI.
  • I found it very odd that paid search marketing was missing from the report entirely, particularly since both display/banner ads and paid social advertising was included. Content marketing/blogging were also notably absent.

For comparison sake, I’ve included a question we asked in the Moz survey from 2013 below:


┬áThe results aren’t directly comparable, both because we have a very different audience than ExactTarget’s and because we’ve also included different options (for example, breaking SEO down into multiple component pieces like KW research, link building, content creation, etc). We’re also asking about what happened in 2013 vs. what’s expected in 2014. Still, I find it interesting to note that social media usage is growing dramatically in both ExactTarget’s survey and ours, vs. email, which is clearly growing at a much greater clip amont ET’s survey takers.

I think when the full results from the Moz Survey are made available, it’s going to be a great dataset, similar in value to what ExactTarget has done with their report.

p.s. If you’ve stumbled across other interesting survey data on the marketing field recently, please feel free to share in the comments. I’d love to analyze more of these in concert with one another.