Social And Email Top Growing Marketing Budgets For 2012

by , Dec 23, 2011, 9:10 AM
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 A recent StrongMail survey, conducted by Zoomerang in November, reflects the attitudes of business leaders about their planned marketing budgets, priorities and challenges for 2012, revealing a healthy outlook for marketing budgets with 51% of companies increasing and 41% maintaining current levels.

For the third year in a row, email marketing and social media marketing remain the top targets for increased spend. For the 2011 holiday shopping season, email marketers plan to focus on cross/upsell offers and promotion of in-store events.

Survey Highlights

  • 92% plan to increase or maintain marketing spend in 2012
  • 60% plan to increase email marketing budget; 55% social media; 37% mobile/search (tied)
  • 45% cite data integration as primary email marketing challenge in 2012; 43% lack of resources/staff; 40% content management
  • 48% cite increasing subscriber engagement as top 2012 email marketing initiative; 44% improving segmentation/targeting; 32% growing opt-in email list
  • 68% plan to integrate email marketing with social media; 44% with mobile; 17% with search

Email marketing and social media were cited as the top two areas for increased marketing spend. According to the survey, 51% of businesses plan to increase their marketing budgets in 2012, and another 41% plan to maintain current levels.  Only 8% of respondents plan to decrease marketing budgets. Other areas of increased spend included mobile and search. Direct mail and tradeshows are top targets for decreased spend.

Plans For Increased Spending in 2012

Program

% of Respondents

Email marketing

60%

Social Media

55

Mobile

37

Search

37

Advertising

28

Direct mail

18

Tradeshows/events

18

Public relations

16

Source: Strongmail, November 2011

The top email marketing initiatives for 2012 are increasing subscriber engagement, improving segmentation and targeting, and growing opt-in email lists.

Top Email Marketing Initiatives for 2012 (% of Respondents Selecting Top 3)

Email Marketing Initiative

% of Respondents

Increasing subscriber engagement

48%

Improve segmentation & targeting

44

Growing opt-in email list

32

Integrating social media & social marketing

24

Implementing lifecycle messaging

20

Re-engaging inactive subscribers

19

Source: Strongmail, November 2011

Data integration is key to achieving these top priorities, but it is also identified as the primary email marketing challenge in 2012, followed by lack of resources and content management. These opposing data points represent an opportunity for email service providers to fill the gap, says the report.

Top Email Marketing Challenges for 2012 (% of Respondents)

Challenge

% of Respondents

Integration with customer data

45%

Lack of resources/staff

43

Content management

40

Maintaining high deliverability

33

Managing send cadence & frequency

29

Source: Strongmail, November 2011

More than two-thirds of businesses plan to integrate social media and email in 2012, versus 44% integrating mobile and email. The strong ties between email marketing and social media are also emphasized by the businesses that plan to increase investment in using email to drive growth in their social media channels, such as corporate Facebook and Twitter pages. 

Channels Planned for Integration With Email in 2012

Channel

% of Respondents

Social media marketing

68%

Mobile

44

Search

17

Display

14

Source: Strongmail, November 2011

More than a third of businesses plan to increase their investment in mobile marketing programs such as mobile apps and SMS alerts, but there is a lack of consensus on the primary value of this emerging channel.  Building customer and loyalty was identified as the top benefit, followed by expanded reach and awareness building.

Primary Values of Marketing Channels  (% of Respondents)

 

% of Respondents Considering Valuable

Marketing Channel

Email

Social

Mobile

Awareness building

51%

64%

29%

New customer acquisition

38

36

23

Customer loyalty and retention

67

48

35

Reach new audiences

26

44

29

Driving revenue

44

14

26

Lead generation (B2B)

29

19

12

Not sure

3

11

24

Source: Strongmail, November 2011

Christopher Marriott, vice president of agency services at StrongMail, concludes that, “... while email marketing leads... in terms of increased investment in 2012... marketers need to overcome key challenges around data integration and resource constraints..."

For more information from Strongmail, please visit here, or to access the report PDF file, go here.

 

 

 

 

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