Retail To Increase Email, Mobile, Social Marketing Budgets

Christmas-packagesSome 43% of retailers said they will raise online marketing budgets -- investing in either mobile, social or email marketing channels during the holiday season, according to a new study analyzing expectation of holiday advertising and sales.

About 68% expect sales to increase this holiday, compared with last year, and nearly a quarter believe they will see it rise by more than 50%, according to the Retail Systems Research study sponsored by Bronto Software.

When asked what percentage of their 2012 holiday online marketing budget will go toward email, mobile and social, 22% of retailers report their social marketing will increase slightly from 2011, with 18% reporting a slight uptick. And 21% note mobile strategies will rise significantly this year, as part of the 40% of retailers who report an overall increase in mobile marketing spend.

When it comes to email marketing, retailers plan to increase the number as the holidays approach. About 22% cite a significant increase in the amount spent for email marketing, while 20% cite a slight increase. Some 53% report that they expect the overall volume of emails sent this year to rise, compared with the year-ago holiday season. About 34% don't expect a change, and 13% said they will spend less.

Of those preparing to increase frequency, 36% of retailers invested in email personalization and 21% in segmentation technologies during the past year. Another 46% have invested in technology to acquire new email subscribers, and 43% have built up automated and triggered messaging features.

The survey, "Loading the Sleigh: Marketers' Plans & Expectations for the Holiday Season," analyzes retailers' plans for the holiday season. The responses come from 179 online and multichannel retailers, with between $51 million and $999 million in annual revenue.

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