Investment in digital marketing continues to grow, with 77% of marketers saying their companies intend to increase budgets in 2015. 

This is one of the findings of Econsultancy's Marketing Budgets 2015 Report, published in association with Oracle Marketing Cloud.

Here are a few highlights from the report...

Companies increasing digital marketing budgets

Over three-quarters of marketers surveyed indicate their companies plan to increase their digital marketing budgets for 2015.

This is a significant increase of 8% since last year (and 13% since we first carried out this survey six years ago).

Q: What best describes your plans for your digital marketing budget in 2015?

Agencies are even more bullish, with 84% saying their clients will increase their digital budgets over the next 12 months.  

The average expected increase in digital budgets has remained remarkably consistent over the last four years, now at 27% (the same percentage as last year).

34% of organisations spend more than half of their marketing budgets on digital.  In comparison, there has been a rise in the proportion of companies who are planning to decrease offline budgets.

Last year, 25% said they would be decreasing spending, compared to nearly a third (31%) this year.

Barriers to investment in digital marketing

Over the past six years, the top reason for not investing more has been restricted budgets for all types of marketing.

However, for the first time since 2012, the proportion of respondents citing this as a barrier has declined – from 51% in 2014 to 48% this year.

It’s worth noting that compared to last year, the proportion of respondents citing company culture as a barrier to further investment has decreased by 38% (from 39% to 24%), after being the second most cited reason last year.

However, the proportion of organisations saying that a lack of understanding about digital prevents them from investing more money has increased by 33% year on year.

Q: What is preventing your company from investing more money in digital marketing?

Other findings from the report

  • Marketers are getting better at securing buy-in and financial support. 72% of companies surveyed say that it has become easier to secure boardroom buy-in for increased digital marketing budgets, up from 64% in 2014.
  • Investment in Data Management Platforms is set to surge. The proportion of organisations that plan to increase investment in DMPs has doubled in the last 12 months
  • 74% of the companies surveyed say they are working towards delivering cohesive customer experiences, rather than standalone campaigns or interactions. Compared to last year, companies are 35% more likely to increase their budgets for cross-channel / multichannel campaign management technology.

Our Research Director Linus Gregoriadis said:

Companies are more committed than ever to their digital marketing activities, with a growing appetite for paid-for advertising, earned media and investment in their own web properties. Investment in digital marketing technology is also buoyant, with marketers seeking to ensure that they have the right tools for acquisition, retention and engagement programmes.

Graham Charlton

Published 26 February, 2015 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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Comments (9)

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Pete Austin

Pete Austin, CINO at Fresh Relevance

77% of marketers != 77% of businesses, because it's not a 1:1 relationship. Easiest fix is to replace the word "businesses" in the headline.

over 2 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

Hi Pete. Yes, marketers don't equate to companies but in our surveys, we ask one person per company so it's essentially the same thing in this case.

over 2 years ago

Duncan Wright

Duncan Wright, Director at BSA Marketing

Interesting statistics. Most interesting for me is the leap in people stating "lack of understanding in digital as a reason for not investing. Do you have any thoughts?

Also, I would be interested to know the profile of the companies surveyed (sector/size/B2B or B2C).

over 2 years ago

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Deri Jones, CEO at SciVisum Ltd

Your graph contradicts your text:
> Last year, 25% said they would be decreasing spending, compared to nearly a third (31%) this year.

(I know I'm a boring detail-geek - but this has happened a couple of times on eConsultancy: maybe there's a need to add an extra check in the proof-reading process 'check the numbers make sense' !

Back to the report - not that I'm cynical, but asking marketers if they will be doing more marketing in the future or less ... the results are pretty predictable for the growing e-Commerce space.

I just hope that marketers who get the 'average' 27% budget increase: will also be good neighbours in their organisation and advocate a similar rise in spending on technology.

Otherwise there will be more companies let down by their website at Black Friday: and more new site features rolled pit at Marketing request, that don't work very well for the users.

over 2 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

Hi Deri, the 25% stat refers to a chart not shown here, about offline marketing budgets.

over 2 years ago

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Deri Jones, CEO at SciVisum Ltd

whoops, my bad :<)

over 2 years ago

Pete Austin

Pete Austin, CINO at Fresh Relevance

@Graham Re: "Yes, marketers don't equate to companies but in our surveys, we ask one person per company so it's essentially the same thing in this case."

If you treat the results as applying to companies, there is sampling bias, because the more marketers a company has, the more likely it is to be included in your survey.

No companies with zero marketers will be included, disproportionately few companies with 1 marketer will be included, and so on. This is why the survey text is *very* careful to always refer to marketers and not companies.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sampling_bias

over 2 years ago

Jason Malikow

Jason Malikow, Founder at Precision Local Marketing

Duncan, I agree that the most interesting finding is "lack of understanding" of digital. I think it must be related to two other reasons: "inability to measure ROI" and "lack of business case." If so, a little customer education never hurt, and I don't mind explaining to a prospect why focusing on the basics will benefit them more than investing in the hottest trend.

over 2 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

@Pete the methodology is explained clearly in the report and we ask marketers as marketing is the subject of the survey.

over 2 years ago

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