Smart Insights have recently published their Managing Digital Marketing report for 2017 and is full of digital marketing statistics from businesses across the UK and beyond. This annual report aims to understand how businesses are planning and managing their digital marketing via an online survey.

Digital marketing is no longer a fancy new thing – nearly every business in the UK uses some kind of digital media. From websites to social media, email marketing, mobile apps and online advertising; it’s all around us and usage will only increase.


I’m really surprised to learn that 49% of businesses that completed the survey are doing digital marketing but have no clear plan or strategy.

Also 49% of businesses don’t have a defined overall marketing strategy and 37% have no aim to implement a digital program (startups and smaller businesses make up the majority of this as they don’t feel it’s appropriate for them).

For most this means that they don’t have defined goals and KPIs in place to measure if they’re actually achieving them.  For more info on the best KPIs for small businesses to track see Top KPIs for small businesses to measure.


There are lots of activities that you can work on to improve your leads and ultimately your sales.  Paid advertising, Search engine optimisation (SEO), Social Media and online PR are just a few.

But what activities (or channels) are the best at producing the best Return on Investment (ROI)?

The votes were:

  • SEO – 32%
  • Content marketing – 30%
  • Email marketing – 30%
  • Paid Search advertising – 20%
  • Social Media (organic) – 20%
  • Social Media (paid advertising) – 17%
  • Website personalisation – 16%
  • Online PR and outreach – 15%
  • Display advertising – 10%

Interestingly whilst organic Social Media was voted the 5th highest for producing a high ROI, it was also voted the lowest at 33%.  SEO was the best channel overall with only 15% of businesses saying it had the lowest ROI and 41% stating it had a medium ROI.

Do you have a digital marketing strategy or plan in place?  If yes are you measuring it?

If you’d like to read the whole report on digital marketing statistics for 2017 you can find it here.