The Marketing Budgets 2010 Report, which looks at measurement of digital and offline marketing channels – and allocation of budgets – is now live. 

The survey-based research, carried out in association with digital marketing provider ExactTarget, has found that companies will increase their digital budgets by an average of 17% in 2010.

Furthermore, digital will account for 24% of total marketing budget this year.

Morgan Stewart, ExactTarget’s director of research and strategy, has provided some really insightful analysis in his introduction to the full report, and also on the ExactTarget blog where he explains why 28% of companies are shifting at least some of their overall marketing budgets from traditional to digital channels.

Received wisdom has for a long time held that the major factor driving budgets online is the measurability and demonstrable return on investment from digital channels. 

In the video below, Morgan explains why business objectives relating to brand and reputation are becoming as significant as harder financial metrics for driving increased investment in digital.

Survey respondents were asked what metrics they are using to measure marketing effectiveness. Statistical analysis shows that there is a strong correlation between focus on brand reputation and likelihood to be shifting marketing budget from traditional to digital channels. 

Digital evangelists have long been trying to get the big brands to spend more on online marketing (especially display advertising), and social media is now helping to give impetus to a second wave of marketers who are moving budgets online. Why? Because they see digital as crucial to brand reputation, and they’re right.

Though email and search marketing are still buoyant, the research shows that companies are most likely to be increasing their marketing spending on social media. Ironically, the research shows that this is also the area of digital marketing (along with mobile marketing) where marketers are struggling most to measure return on investment. 

For more details check out the Marketing Budgets Report. There’s a free sample for non-subscribers.