Econsultancy has launched its annual research aimed at uncovering where companies will be investing their marketing budgets in 2012. As usual, those taking the survey, sponsored by Experian Marketing Services, will get a free copy of the report when it is published early next year.  

This research, now in its third year, is a useful barometer which helps to shed light on which channels and technologies are the priorities for investment. Will companies be focusing on video advertising and social media, or continue with tried and tested channels such as direct mail, email, TV and paid search? 

It will be interesting to see whether 2012 sees a continuation of a trend uncovered as part of the equivalent 2011 research, namely a comeback of traditional marketing channels such as television and print media, coupled with a continued commitment to digital.   

Companies are taking a more integrated approach to marketing which has resulted in the boundaries between digital and offline channels becoming much less distinct. After the difficult years of 2008 and 2009, companies began to loosen the purse strings a bit more.   

Marketers will be holding their breath in the first few weeks of next year, hoping that their budgets aren’t slashed due to a worsening of economic confidence and slump into an acute credit crunch and recession.

Whether or not we avoid another recession, the onus will be on marketers to demonstrate return on marketing spend, using increasingly sophisticated technology and processes to understand the value of different channels and the right mix between them.

A quick glimpse at our preliminary survey results suggests that companies will continue to invest heavily in marketing next year, especially in digital. 

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