Marketers are beginning to put more of their budget aside for social media-based and viral marketing campaigns than for traditional online techniques, according to a survey conducted in advance of this year's Online Marketing and Media Show.
The survey found that, while many marketers are currently spending their online budgets on search, e-mail and pay-per-click campaigns, they are no longer spending any significant amounts on traditional banner advertising, making way instead for the recent growth of interactive channels such as social media and viral marketing.
Online marketing increasing
Not surprisingly, overall online marketing spending is continually increasing, with over one-third of all survey respondents revealing that up to 25% of their marketing budget will be dedicated purely to online marketing and media in 2008. This represents a 15% increase since 2007.
The top three priority areas for better understanding and education concerning online marketing were cited as:
- Measuring response;
- Search marketing;
- Online campaign planning.
But, despite a perceived lack of understanding in these areas, marketers still appear to be reluctant to outsource the development of their online strategies, with less than half of respondents indicating that they planned to work with a digital agency over the next 12 months.
Barriers being removed
According to Sally Maltby, event director for the show, "Marketers want to invest their budget where they can get tangible, clear results. Historically, search, SEO and pay-per-click campaigns have been the leaders for this reason. But now they want to engage with their audience beyond the first click and, as the industry starts seeing improved measurement tools for social media, marketers will begin experimenting and investing more online."
The survey also found that 75% of respondents generate more accountable return on investment (ROI) from their online marketing and media activity than from their more traditional marketing tools. In line with the majority of respondents recognising online and social media as an area for growth, 62% said that they would be comfortable advertising their brand through a social networking web site.
This year's Online Marketing and Media Show 2008 will be held on 24th and 25th June 2008 at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London, UK.