Almost three out of four businesses (71%) plan to increase their digital marketing budgets this year, according to stats included in the new Econsultancy/Responsys Marketing Budgets 2013 Report.

In comparison only 20% of respondents said they plan to increase their traditional (offline) budgets, up slightly from 16% last year.

The average expected increase (for those increasing digital budgets) is 28%, slightly higher than the average expected increase of 26% for offline budgets.

The Econsultancy/Responsys Marketing Budgets 2013 Report is based on a survey of more than 800 client-side marketers and agency respondents.

The survey also asked respondents what their budget plans are for individual digital marketing channels.

Across all channels companies are significantly more likely to be increasing rather than decreasing budgets, with content marketing proving to be the area that most likely to be increasing investment.

More than two-thirds of client-side respondents (70%) said their companies would be increasing the amount spent on content marketing, a figure that tallies with findings from the Econsultancy/Outbrain Content Marketing Survey Report in which 90% of respondents said the discipline would become more important over the next 12 months.

SEO and email marketing for engagement and retention are also popular areas for increased investment (both 65%).

What best describes your company’s budget plans for the following digital marketing channels or disciplines in 2013?

But despite the planned increase in investment, only half (50%) of companies surveyed claim to have a ‘good’ or ‘very good’ understanding of ROI from digital marketing.

This is down from 55% last year and continuing a trend of decline since 2010 when the figure was 67%.

Conversely, the number of businesses that said their understanding of ROI was ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ has steadily increased from 10% in 2010 to 18% this year.

How do you rate your understanding of ROI from digital marketing channels?

David Moth

Published 5 February, 2013 by David Moth

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn

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