As winter comes to an end, so too does the Winter Wonderland of Marketing Stats series that’s been running here over the past few months. This final installment covers some fascinating though sometimes contradictory and confusing stats about business blogging and the value of marketing.
For example, what percentage of businesses maintain company blogs? It seems to depend who you ask: one source below says 62%, another says 80%, and still another, 86%. First, all of these numbers seem a tad high; other (fairly) recent research has reported that 55% of small businesses have blogs but just 31% of Fortune 500 enterprises do.
Second, such findings can be significantly impacted by factors like sample set (Is it large enough to be representative? Is it truly random?); the survey methodology (a phone or email survey, for example, is likely to find much different results than one done on Twitter or LinkedIn); and how the questions are asked (a company can “include blogging as part of content marketing strategy” through influencer outreach, LinkedIn Pulse, guest blogging, or other tactics—without actually maintaining its own corporate blog).
Another apparent contradiction is much more fundamental: does marketing have value? One may have thought this question was answered years ago by Milan Kundera who famously said, “Business has only two functions – marketing and innovation.”
But apparently not. As noted below, just 29% of CMOs say they can quantitatively prove the long-term impact of marketing on the business. 23% say they can’t prove any impact at all. But, seemingly in support of Kundera’s quote above, Forrester Research says marketers are the ““sole source of sustainable competitive advantage.”