Performance Marketers Report Moderate Improvements in Conversion Rates

August 4, 2021
Ascend2 Conversion Rate Optimization Program Effectiveness Aug2021

Marketers say they have seen at least moderate improvement in their conversion rate optimization programs in the past year, per a report [download page] from Ascend2. The survey of more than 250 marketers reveals that while almost half (45%) have seen an increase in conversion rate optimization effectiveness, fewer than 1 in 10 (8%) say they’ve seen significant improvement.

Here are some other performance marketing highlights from the report:

Budget Allocation a Top Challenge

Performance marketing is not without barriers to success. Despite earlier reports claiming budgets for performance marketing would increase, performance marketers say their biggest setback is their budget. In fact, nearly half (47%) say budget allocation is a top challenge when executing strategy, while one-third (34%) are hindered by resource allocation.

With budgets a top concern, marketers are conscious about where they are allocating funds. While some plan to allocate the majority of their budget to search (16%) and SEO (16%) or PPC (9%) in the coming year, a plurality (33%) will be investing the most budget in social (33%).

Although not listed as a current challenge, marketers have had to make adjustments as top browsers Chrome and Safari initiate blocking the use of third-party cookies. While other research shows that one-fifth of B2B marketers say they have no plans in place to address this, Ascend2 found that others are planning to mitigate this change by personalizing content (48%), optimizing content (33%), and collecting and using intent data (31%).

Social Top Channel for Content Creation

With social being a budget priority this year, content for these platforms will also be a priority. About three-quarters (73%) of marketers say they will be focused on creating content to be used on social media. Far fewer will focus on creating video content (32%), webinars (21%), native advertising (19%) and SEO (19%). And, despite growing interest in podcast advertising, only 10% of this survey’s respondents say they will invest in the channel.

More Resources Going Towards Collaborative Marketing

One of the emerging trends that marketers are looking to invest in the coming year is collaborative marketing, with some 4 in 10 (37%) saying they will be allocating the most resources to collaborating with different brands. Two other trends respondents plan to invest in the most are user-generated content and live video (33% each).

Visual search, a strategy preferred by consumers, is also a trend one-quarter of performance marketers are investing in this year. Additionally, despite 80% of marketers saying they are investing more in influencer marketing, only 23% are putting more of a focus on influencer content in the year ahead.

Where Agencies Need the Most Improvement: Price

Many organizations rely on performance marketing agencies to help them achieve their goals. However, marketers say these agencies have room for improvement, with about half (48%) saying agencies need to improve their pricing. Others say these agencies can improve in areas related to customer service (38%), service offerings (34%) and communication (29%).

The full report can be found here.

About the Data: Findings are based on a June 2021 survey of 283 marketers. B2C made up a 46% share and B2B made up a 27% share, with the remainder targeting B2B and B2C equally.

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