A few interesting nuggets came from a recent survey by Fractl of over 500 Americans to learn about how they view different marketing tactics. Moz detailed the results in their recent article here. I would recommend digging into the details in the article, but the main headline is that Americans, as represented by this survey, find search to be the most effective way to get their business.

Search Ranked Highest and Most Used

In addition to respondents saying they viewed search as the most effective way (54%) to get their business, when asked what they have done in the last week,  the leading response at 89% was “Used online search to find information about a company or product.” This isn’t shocking to those of us in the industry but should be yet another sign or even alarm to business owners that they need to start prioritizing search as an important and possibly leading element in their marketing mix.

Non-Digital Traditional Methods Performed Better Than Expected

What was somewhat surprising from the results was that just behind search in the effectiveness results was the traditional mailing of coupons and offers. Not email, but traditional mail. Advertising on TV, billboards, radio, and newspapers also did better than other digital methods.  Do take a look at the list of effective methods, as I think it may be surprising.

Be Wary of Being Overly Intrusive

Be Wary of Being overly intrusiveSurvey respondents also showed a bit of a disdain for retargeting ads. Though the industry has the data to show that these are effective, you need to be careful to not overdo it.   78% of respondents said they notice retargeted ads and 56% have negative feelings toward them. With people more sensitive about privacy than ever, and many using ad blockers or even the growth of a more privacy-focused search engine like DuckDuckGo, it is important to be careful with your retargeting.  It can generate a bad taste in your customer’s mouths.

I would definitely recommend any business owner dive into this survey. I think it says a lot about the general feeling of Americans toward how we choose to market to them. Keep in mind that what they say and what they do don’t always match. For example, we know retargeting works but it tends to work only to those that are open and interested in what you are doing.  Using data to figure out who those people are maybe the next step for improving efficiency without scaring away our users.