Tech Marketing Budgets Up for 2012; Digital Dominates

In a new global research report released today by IDG Research Services, two-thirds of the technology marketers surveyed said they expect their budgets to rise on average 3.5% next year compared to this year.  Digital programs will capture half the spend with 58% on demand generation and 42% on branding.  Events is second at almost 24%.

 2012 Marketing And Ad Budget Allocation (Technology Products or Services)

Product or Service

% of Budget

Digital

50.1%

Events

23.9

Print

13.9

Broadcast

5.1

Other

6.9

Source: IDG, November 2011

The survey found that digital spend is evenly split between branded tech media sites, with more than 51% and a combination of ad networks, exchanges without real-time bidding (RTB), and RTB systems. 39% plan to spend more on branded sites in 2012 than this year, and 31% of the respondents plan to increase ad network funding.

Sites For Planned Digital Spend in 2012

Type

% Budgeted Spend

Branded Content

51.2% (39% spending more than 2011)

Ad networks

27.3% (31% spending more than 2011)

Ad exchanges/DSPs

15.3%

RTB

6.2%

Source: IDG, November 2011

As might be expected in a difficult economy, lead generation topped all digital budget categories with almost 27% followed by display/banner at just under 20% and search at almost 19%.   As to what is driving digital media investments in 2012, audience composition, ROI and measurement capabilities, audience reach, and data targeting were selected by more than three-quarters of the respondents.

Digital Budget Spending Priorities 2012

Ad Type

Share of Budget

Lead Generation

26.6%

Display/Banner

19.6

Search

18.8

Email

11.7

Sponsorship/Custom

9.7

Digital Video

7.8

Rich Media

5.9

Source: IDG, November 2011

By a wide margin, click through rate is the most important factor in campaign success with cost-per-engagement and interaction rate almost equal in importance. Vendors are significantly more likely to rely on social media indicators; agencies look to metrics that lend themselves to ROI computations.

Important Metric Evaluation Considerations

Metric

% Utilizing

CTR (Click through rate)

80%

Cost per engagement

59%

Interaction rate

55%

Source: IDG, November 2011

Content marketing, which includes white papers, case studies, videos, custom websites, video and white papers, is among tech marketers’ top five spending priorities for 2012.  Led by collateral at 71%, followed by webcasts/virtual events at 61%, videos at 59%, research at 55%, and articles/features at 54%, marketers are investing in a wide variety of content marketing or custom programs. 

Custom Content Marketing Spending Priorities (% of Tech Marketers)

Category

% of Tech Marketers Investing

Collateral

71%

Webcasts/virtual events

61

Videos

59

Research

5

Articles/features

54

SEO, SEM, SMO optimized

51

Source: IDG, November 2011

Agencies are much more inclined to use custom within media sites/programs than vendors (50% vs. 28%).  When asked about the biggest challenges in producing marketing content, marketers cited producing enough material, creating engaging content and measuring the results. Approximately two-thirds of the marketers indicate they will outsource one or more projects involving content creation, creative development, ad unit creation and online production/services.

Content Marketing Content Challenges (% Respondents Considering “Biggest”)

Challenge

% of Respondents

Producing enough content

49%

Producing engaging content

48

Measuring results

39

Delivering content to right audience

37

Lack of budget

37

Lack of consistent content strategy

32

Lack of talent to produce content

31

Source: IDG, November 2011

75% of respondents noted that programs are meeting or exceeding expectations, though issues exist around lack of standard metrics, a shortage of experience with social media, and lack of budget.   When compared to mobile marketing, social is out front in adoption, 95% to 64%.  This indicates that for many marketers, social has advanced beyond the experimental stage unlike mobile.  Of note is that almost half of the marketers will devote funds to tablet ads next year.

Matthew Yorke, President, IDG Global Solutions, concludes by saying that “... marketers are following their customers and prospects who are relying on social, mobile, and video in rapidly increasing numbers... a multiplatform world has been added to the multichannel world... “

For additional information about the study, including links to charts and slides, please go here.

Respondents to the IDG survey included 185 tech marketers and 89 agency professionals.  86% of the participants were from the United States.

 

 

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