In a recent report, consumers indicated that they prefer marketing contact through emails, websites and Facebook media. They're also more likely to convert via these channels.

Businesses are dedicating more resources toward online marketing moving into 2013. Brafton reported that internet advertising revenues in the United States reached approximately $9.26 billion in the third quarter of 2012. Brands will continue to generate returns on their investments when they develop their web strategies further. In some instances, consumers willingly highlight the channels they’d prefer brands to use for outreach programs. According to a new study by global interactive provider ExactTarget, email, branded websites and Facebook are key avenues that marketers must explore in 2013.

Where to spend money in 2013According to the study “Marketers from Mars,” about 33 percent of consumers want brands to invest more in email, 24 percent in websites, 22 percent in Facebook marketing strategies and 14 percent in content about products. Overall, a better user experience could lead to higher customer acquisition and retention rates.

“Consumers are moving from single channel interactions into multi-channel relationships,” ExactTarget’s Vice President of Marketing Jeff Rohrs said. “Our Marketers From Mars research provides exclusive insight into consumer expectations, offering marketers exclusive new insight on how to avoid the pitfalls of personal biases or becoming a ‘focus group of one’ when creating marketing strategy.”

ExactTarget identified key trends in how users respond to outreach through these avenues. For example, 49 percent of consumers have purchased products or services as direct results of email content. Twenty-one percent of consumers have bought items via Facebook messages. While ExactTarget does not report data on how many Americans have purchased various offerings because of website content, Brafton discovered that 76.4 percent of marketers say website content impacts their ability to drive leads for their organizations. These high-quality leads are also likely to convert.

Businesses must have diverse marketing portfolios when attempting to acquire new customers via web marketing. Using a single channel to grab consumers’ attention won’t work, as American online shoppers congregate on several channels. Clearly, some need messages sent directly to their inboxes and many seek affirmation from their friends via social networks before they purchase products or services from particular brands.

Ted Karczewski is an Executive Communications Associate at Brafton. He works to develop his own voice and apply his passions to the evolving world of SEO and content marketing, but he doesn't shy away from writing for fun. After graduating from Suffolk University, Ted used his Communications degree to test out Sports Journalism before Marketing at Brafton.