CLO Tops Social Media

Card-linked offers top the list of the most preferred marketing channels, surpassing social media marketing for the first time in the latest digital marketing survey by Digital Commerce Annual Industry Study. Until this year, Social Media Marketing topped the list for the past several years. This recent finding reveals that marketing leaders count on card-linking now more than ever to engage consumers and drive growth.

The increase in preference of card-linking programs is proportionate to Social Media Marketing's decrease: Card-linking was preferred by 27.7% of study participants this year compared to 21.8% last year. Social Media Marketing was preferred by 17.5% - down from 22.6% the previous year.

Even considered separately, the two types of card-linking programs are strong: Card-Linked Loyalty Programs are preferred by 14.5% of the respondents, and Card-Linked Offers are preferred by 13%.

Next on the list of most popular digital marketing tools includes Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Marketing at 13.8% (down more than eight percentage points from the previous years) and Affiliate Marketing / Online-to-Offline at 10.9% (up just two percentage points from the previous year). Affiliate Marketing Online-to-Online and Consumer Opt-in Financial Data were cited by 10.9% and 8% respectively.

Perhaps most telling is what didn't rank well. TV advertising was cited as a tool preferred by just 4.4% of those who responded (down from 6.6% in 2020) - further indication of the growing preference for digital channels.