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Hard-hitting year ahead for print media and radio

Global survey of marketers shows that 41% will decrease spending on print media during the year ahead

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February 4th 2010 - Increasing investment in social media, mobile marketing, email marketing and search will fuel a 17 per cent surge in digital marketing spending this year, as marketers migrate budgets from television, print and radio. ExactTarget, the on-demand email and one-to-one marketing specialist worked in conjunction with Econsultancy, the digital publishing and training group, to conduct a survey of over 1000 company and agency marketers around the globe.

The outlook for offline channels is much less favourable than its digital competitors, where 28 per cent of marketers will shift their overall marketing budgets towards digital in 2010.In contrast, the research depicts a healthier outlook for the burgeoning digital marketing industry, with 66 per cent of companies increasing their online marketing spend, and a further 30 per cent stating that they will maintain the same levels of spend in this area. On average, digital marketing currently accounts for 24% of overall marketing spend.

Peter McCormick, the general manager and co-founder of ExactTarget comments: “The shift from offline to online is in full swing as marketers look to measure direct increases in top-line sales, site traffic and improve overall marketing return on investment. Interestingly, brand reputation is becoming a more significant driver of the migration to digital marketing, particularly when it comes to social media.”

70 per cent of in-house marketers plan to increase their budgets for off-site social media marketing efforts, using agencies to engage with audiences on Facebook, Twitter and other networking sites. But according to agency respondents the biggest impediment to digital marketing investment is a general lack of understanding of digital marketing channels. Just under half (48%) of agency respondents cite this as the key reason, which prevents their clients from investing more money in this area.

“The research shows a healthy outlook for the digital marketing industry with the majority of responding companies increasing their budgets for most digital channels,” said Linus Gregoriadis, research director at Econsultancy. “Social media marketing is the area where companies are most likely to be spending more money during 2010, but areas such as search engine marketing and email marketing will remain buoyant.”

The research also looked at the effectiveness, measurement and allocation of budgets, and probed the differences between "traditional" and digital marketing investment. Online and offline channels have been compared individually, in terms of where companies are investing and their ability to measure return on investment (ROI).

Marketers can download a summary of the More Money, More Channels: Marketing Budgets For 2010 free of charge here. The entire report is available for purchase from Econsultancy online.