Dubai, 06 April, 2011 - Investments in digital channels are increasing across the board with 53 percent of companies planning to increase budgets for mobile marketing and 51 percent for video communication, according to a survey conducted by Econsultancy, a global source of independent advice and insight on best practices for digital marketing and e-commerce.

Titled 'State of Digital Marketing in the Middle East and North Africa', the survey findings will be revealed to an audience of 120 digital marketing and e-commerce experts at 'Digital Cream Dubai'.

Supported by Dubai Internet City, Digital Cream Dubai will be held on 12 April at the Westin Hotel in Dubai. A part of Econsultancy's international series of events, the event will offer a roundtable forum for senior client-side digital marketers to discuss and explore latest best practices on e-marketing procurement, business cases, investment, return on investments (ROI) and supplier selection.

The survey findings reflect a buoyant digital industry that is experiencing rapid growth. On an average, companies are spending 22 per cent of their marketing budget on digital and more than half (58 per cent) are increasing their digital budgets in 2011. This compares to 43 per cent of the organisations that are increasing their overall marketing budgets this year in the region.

Organisations in the region are investing increasingly in search, with 56 per cent of companies increasing budgets for search engine optimisation and 49 per cent for paid search. Around 28 per cent of companies are planning to increase investment in business analytics and web analytics software that is set to enable organisations to effectively understand and measure their return on investments.

Econsultancy is a global community where the world's digital marketing and e-commerce professionals meet to sharpen their strategy, source suppliers, get quick answers, compare notes, help each other out and discover how to do everything better online. Digital Cream Dubai is run in partnership with Global Event Management that has offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and London.

Majed Al Suwaidi, Director-Business Development at Dubai Internet City, said, "Digital platforms are increasingly being utilized by both small and large enterprises. Organisations are beginning to realize the relevance of tools based on mobile, video and the internet as they provide business value in the long run. Investments in such platforms help businesses and web analytics effectively understand and measure ROI."

Ahmad Bashour, Digital Publishing Director, ITP, and Ashley Friedlein, CEO, Econsultancy, will share the findings from the survey on digital spend, investments, and preferred digital channels by the industry. Attendees at Digital Cream Dubai have a choice of 14 independently moderated roundtables on various digital marketing disciplines including online advertising, social media, email, web analytics and search marketing.

Ashley Friedlein said: "We are very happy to contribute to the development of the digital community in the region by providing ways for people to share expertise and best practice. Digital Cream Dubai provides a unique format that allows attendees to discuss online channel investment, technologies, agency selection and local challenges that they all face in delivering best practice digital marketing and advertising."

At the forefront of the region's ICT industry, Dubai Internet City remains committed to supporting emerging technology trends in the region and continues to play an instrumental role in developing the industry while contributing to Dubai's drive for creating a knowledge-based economy.

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About Dubai Internet City
(DIC), a member of TECOM Investments, was established in 2000. It is currently regarded the Middle East's largest information and communications technology (ICT) cluster. Built as a strategic base for companies targeting emerging markets in several neighbouring regions, DIC's core focus area extends from the Middle East to the Indian Subcontinent, and from Africa to the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), covering nearly three billion people with a GDP of over US$10 trillion. As a knowledge-oriented business model, DIC has created a dynamic international community of IT companies hosting business partners that include most of the Fortune 500 brands, as well as a number of small and medium enterprises and ventures. In 2009, 135 new companies joined the DIC cluster. For more information, please visit: www.dubaiinternetcity.com

About Econsultancy
Econsultancy is a community where the world's digital marketing and ecommerce professionals meet to sharpen their strategy, source suppliers, get quick answers, compare notes, help each other out and discover how to do everything better online. It was launched in 1999 and since then has grown to a dominant position in the digital marketing industry. Its website and blog attracts over 240,000 unique users per month and its range of courses and conferences are attended by over 5,000 marketers every year. Econsultancy provides the Middle East with regionalised reports, such as the Middle East stats compendium, local events, online resources and training programmes. Econsultancy's 100,000 members make better decisions, build business cases, find the best suppliers, look smart in meetings and accelerate their careers. For more information, visit http://econsultancy.com or follow @econsultancy on Twitter

Published on: 9:39AM on 7th April 2011