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Marketing Budgets 2012 ReportCompanies are investing more money in digital marketing and related technology as they seek to benefit from the ever growing digital economy, according to research published today. 

Econsultancy's Marketing Budgets 2012 Report, published by Econsultancy in association with Experian Marketing Services, shows increasing levels of investment across a range of digital channels and disciplines.

According to the research, based on a survey of more than 500 companies and agencies, more than two-thirds (68%) are increasing their digital budgets for 2012, compared to 45% of companies increasing overall marketing budgets but only 16% saying the same for 'traditional' marketing budgets.

Three-quarters (74%) of companies are investing more in digital marketing technology this year, up from 67% who expressed similar intent a year ago. 

The research also shows an encouraging commitment to address the skills gap within many companies, which we have previously described as 'a ticking digital time bomb'. More than half (56%) of companies say they will recruit more people into their digital teams this year, up from 52% a year ago. 

Despite this progress, 'lack of staff' is still cited as one of the most significant barriers preventing further investment in digital marketing. 

The chart below shows the proportion of companies planning increased investment for specific areas of digital, with more than half of organisations planning to boost budgets in almost every area. (Groupon investors should look away now.)

What best describes your budget plans for the following digital marketing channels or disciplines in 2012?

Commenting on the findings, Mark Zablan, Managing Director, Experian Marketing Services, UK & Ireland, said:  

While spend is increasing, it is little surprise that much of the dynamic growth has been in companies trying to understand, interpret and measure customer behaviour within this increasingly complex marketing ecosystem.

The key to success is turning huge quantities of data into insights which show behaviour not only across channels, devices and platforms, but which also span both the online and offline worlds and drive customer engagement.

Marketers are therefore investing in the tools, technology and people to allow them to deliver greater returns on their campaigns and present insight and results back to the business in a meaningful and incisive way.

The report also looks at levels of investment in offline channels such as printed media and direct mail. Television is the only 'traditional' marketing channel where investment is holding steady rather than declining.

The research shows significant investment in mobile, as businesses seek to engage with the vast numbers of people now consuming information on devices such as smartphones and tablets.  

Zablan added: 

While social networks may dominate media headlines, and are gaining ever-increasing shares of marketing budgets, strong performances by channels such as mobile and TV highlight the vital importance of a multichannel strategy.

Linus Gregoriadis

Published 1 February, 2012 by Linus Gregoriadis

Linus Gregoriadis is Research Director at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn or Google+.

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Comments (4)

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Daniel

It's good to see more organizations planning to invest in SEO but I think more organizations are bringing it in-house too.

over 4 years ago

Hannah Miller

Hannah Miller, SEO Director at 4Ps Marketing

I agree with Daniel that companies also bringing it in-house, however I still think they will require specialists to lead strategies and lead them in the next features that should be incorporated. If it’s left in-house I find the basics are completed but to be aggressive that needs the pros. Agencies share information that internal team members don’t tend to discover and/or test with research.
Increasing budgets into SEO and Digital advertising can show some significant results so I’m excited to see this taking place.

over 4 years ago

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Daryl Cygler

Interesting breakdown of what still seems to be traditional digital marketing approaches. I can see the emergence of new media activity, social activity (on & offline) as well as groupon. But for me the major shock is the non-appearance of mobile. Mobile is going to impact on the digital landscape far more than all of these areas combined of the next 5 years. I am sure these areas will include mobile activity but in needs to be segmented into it's own digital activity.

over 4 years ago

Linus Gregoriadis

Linus Gregoriadis, Research Director at Econsultancy, Centaur Marketing

@Daryl Thanks for your comment Daryl and completely agree about huge impact of mobile. We didn't include 'mobile' in this question because our view is that this sits across all the disciplines and activities in question.

We did have a question in the survey (and related blog post) around mobile-related areas of investment.

http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/8889-budgets-study-shows-mobile-apps-qr-codes-and-ads-are-top-priority

over 4 years ago

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