Some 54% of companies participating in the Marketing Budgets Report expect to increase overall marketing investment this year, up from 45% in 2012. But determining ROI from combined online and offline channels remains complicated.
While 71% report increases for their digital budgets this year, up from 68%, about 20% plan to increase traditional offline budgets -- up from 16% last year, according to the fourth annual report from Econsultancy, sponsored by Responsys. The analysis of 2013 budgets across a range of marketing disciplines and channels compares online with offline budgets of more than 800 companies and agencies.
Marketers continue to struggle to understand the value of media across digital and offline channels, such as television and mobile.
Only 50% of companies surveyed claim to have a good or very good understanding of ROI from digital marketing channels, down from 55% last year. For comparison, the proportion of companies rating their understanding of ROI from traditional marketing as "good" or "very good" remains around 50%.
Agencies have become even more skeptical about their clients understanding ROI from digital marketing channels, with 36% of supply-side respondents saying this is "poor" or "very poor." The proportion of agencies reporting that their clients' understanding is "okay" or "good" declined 8% in the last 12 months.
There are specific digital channels that are more measurable than others. For example, 57% of marketers are most likely to rate paid search as "good" for measuring ROI, while social media and video advertising -- at 17% each -- are the least likely.
Multichannel marketing and integration remains important, although the percentage of those investing fell slightly. Some 71% of companies plan to boost spending on digital marketing technology during 2013, down from 74% in 2012. About 46% said they would invest in analytics; 45%, CRM; and 41%, content management systems (CMS).
Some 38% said they would invest in email platforms; 35%, paid search and bid management; and 34%, conversion and optimization tools.
When it comes to content marketing, 80% will increase the amount spent during the next 12 months, compared with 72% of agencies indicate clients plan to increase content marketing budgets.