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Online, Offline Marketing Budgets Worldwide to Rise in 2013

ROI remains a challenge, even as more dollars go to digital

Across the board, marketing budgets worldwide are set to surpass increases seen last year, as a positive economic outlook convinces companies to up their investment in outreach.

According to a February 2013 report from Econsultancy sponsored by Responsys, more than seven out of 10 companies worldwide said they would grow their digital marketing budgets this year, up from 68% last year. And 20% of companies planned to increase traditional budgets as well, compared with 16% last year.

In total, more than half of client-side marketers said they would increase their marketing budgets in 2013.

In terms of the proportion of budget devoted to digital, the report found that companies planned to spend an average 35% on online tactics. That’s actually a 1-percentage-point decrease from 2012.

For companies trying to assess the return they’re getting on their marketing investment, digital has seemed to have the measurability advantage over traditional channels for years now. However, this too seems to be changing.

While more client-side marketers said they could measure the return on investment (ROI) from digital tactics (50%) over traditional (47%), the digital figure was down from 55% in 2012, and the continuation of a multiyear decline. By comparison, the percentage able to measure traditional marketing ROI was up from 44% last year.

Digital opportunities are proliferating, and as the data expands and gets more granular, analysis becomes more challenging.

In January 2013, the greatest percentage of companies reported a good ability to measure the ROI of paid search, which is understandable given search’s longstanding role in the online marketing mix. Email marketing, also a stalwart, was just behind paid search. Mobile marketing, social media investment, video advertising and webinars were the channels that proved the most challenging to measure.

Difficulty with measurement doesn’t mean companies won’t invest in new channels, but marketers will continuously assess performance and lean on tactics with results they can quantify.

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Check out today’s other articles, “CPG Brands Bridge the Gap Between Ecommerce Shoppers and Buyers,” “China, South Korea Lead World in Mobile Commerce Adoption,” “In the UK, Girls Surpass Boys for Smartphone Ownership, Usage,” and “Canada's Smallest Businesses Struggle to Get Online.”

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