Some 62% of SMEs said that social media brings in the highest quality leads and sales, according to a survey of over 200 SMEs by UK call tracking provider, Mediahawk.
Of the businesses asked, 55% were planning to increase budgets in this area.
Offline media including magazines, flyers and newspaper ads, brings in the second highest quality leads to their business, 51% of those asked said.
Of businesses that spend over £15,000 annually on offline advertising, 62% of this dataset said that offline brings in the best sales leads.
However, 64% of SMEs claimed that online marketing delivered the best return on investment (ROI) due to the high cost of offline advertising.
The majority of businesses with an annual turnover of up to £50,000 said that online advertising provided the best ROI. Businesses with a higher turnover, of £100,000 – £500,000, said that offline marketing provided the highest return on investment.
Of those who operate internationally, 74% of respondents said that online advertising delivers the best ROI.
67% of those surveyed said they ‘ask clients how they heard about their businesses’ as their primary method of attribution.
Online analytics tools were the second most preferred method of attribution, utilised by 40% of businesses surveyed.
However, ‘tracked telephone numbers’ was the least used form of attribution despite print and offline media being the second highest quality driver of sales and leads, suggesting that they were not tracking these media, although many spent upwards of £5,000 a year on offline marketing.
Michael Morrell, Mediahawk’s CEO, said “Even while spending more on offline marketing, businesses continue to cite social media as a better source of high quality leads. This highlights the need to properly attribute marketing spend and understand what works best for you.”