Earned Media to See Spending Increases this Year - eMarketer
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Earned Media to See Spending Increases this Year

Brand marketers and agencies look to different tactics

February 17, 2011

It’s no surprise that digital advertising will see more of an increased investment from brand marketers and agencies in 2011 compared to traditional advertising. But what is surprising are the greater increases planned for earned or unpaid media.

The Society of Digital Agencies (SoDA) and AnswerLab surveyed brand marketers, agencies, technologists and digital industry insiders for the “2011 Digital Marketing Outlook” report and found that 24% of agencies plan to significantly increase unpaid or earned media investments in 2011.

Meanwhile, only 15% of brand marketers plan to do the same. Unpaid and earned media, which gets smaller budgets than paid traditional and digital media, still has costs involved, such as staff time and agency resources. But this planned increase demonstrates the growing importance of earned media for marketers. Consumers often see earned media as more credible than advertising, and brands and agencies alike are planning to make more of this trustworthy form of marketing.

Change in Investing in Paid vs. Unpaid/Earned Media According to Brand Marketers and Agencies Worldwide in 2011 (% of respondents)

Yet the two groups differ in their plans for specific digital marketing tactics. Agencies plan to invest in social media and brand building, with 77% of agencies saying they will spend more on behalf of clients on social networks and applications in 2011, followed by digital brand experiences, with 71% of respondents. Social networks and applications were the third most popular tactic for brand marketers, with 69% reporting they will invest in 2011.

Digital Marketing Tactics on Which Agencies Worldwide Plan to Invest in 2011 (% of respondents)

Brand marketers, on the other hand, plan to invest in email marketing and digital infrastructure, including talent, IT and organizational structure. According to the survey, both tactics were highlighted by 70% of brand marketer respondents.

These differences show a disconnect between the way brand marketers and agencies look at earned media, specifically social networks. Agencies see social as more worthy of investment going into 2011, while marketers plan to stick to more tried-and-true methods like email marketing.

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Check out today’s other article, “Targeting Boosts Low Facebook Click Rates.”

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