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Digital to fuel the comeback of offline marketing?

By Peter Clark, Marketing Factbook

 

Companies are continuing to increase their digital marketing budgets as the economy slowly recovers from recession, and many see the need to make better use of technology to monitor and measure their marketing results, according to a report from Econsultancy.

The report, entitled 'Marketing Budgets 2011' and sponsored by business analytics firm SAS UK, focused on the state of the UK's marketing spend, based on a survey of more than 500 in-house and agency marketers.

The report analyses relative levels of planned spending in the year ahead across a range of marketing channels. It also looks at online and offline budgets, investments in marketing technologies and then compares year-on-year results.

Key highlights from the report include:

  • Nearly three-quarters (72%) of responding companies are increasing their digital marketing budgets this year, up from 68% a year ago.
  • Companies increasing their digital marketing budgets are doing so by an average 35% year-on-year, up from 33% last year.
  • There is an improving economic outlook, with just over half (52%) of companies increasing their overall marketing budgets for 2011, up from 47% the same time a year ago.
  • While digital continues to be a focus for increasing marketing budgets, companies are more likely to increase their budgets for a range of offline marketing channels, than they would have a year ago. The proportion of companies increasing TV investment is up by 8% (to 31%), while radio is up by 11% (to 25%).

Out of a range of marketing technologies, the research found that companies are most likely to be investing in business analytics and web analytics software, with 45% of respondents saying that spending here will increase in 2011. This focus reflects the on-going need to improve and measure the effectiveness of marketing channels, and how they relate to each other. The next most buoyant areas for technology investment are CRM (40%), content management systems (39%) and email platforms (also 39%).

According to Econsultancy's research director, Linus Gregoriadis, "While digital continues to be buoyant, there is also evidence of a comeback for offline marketing channels including television and radio channels in particular. The effectiveness and measurability of digital is giving companies confidence that offline marketing investment is also paying dividends. Companies are investing in offline marketing channels to complement increased digital investment, with integrated campaigns which - for example - use television and radio advertisements to drive searches and website traffic."

"The marketing environment continues to evolve in radically new ways," concluded Richard Kellett, director of marketing for SAS UK. "The proliferation of new channels, and changes in how we communicate through these channels, continues to put significant pressure on both our marketing budgets, and the skills and imagination of marketing professionals."

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Sources: Econsultancy; SAS UK
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