CMOCouncil-Marketers-Changing-Media-Mix-Aug2014Digital channels are beginning to rank among the top-budgeted areas of marketers’ program spend, finds the CMO Council in its latest State of Marketing report [download page]. Indeed, websites, microsites and communities now rival trade shows and conferences in share of planned program spend, outweighing TV advertising as well as lead generation and thought leadership (including content syndication). As expected, the biggest changes in the works are reserved for digital channels.

The 500+ respondents to the survey – who hailed from all global regions and a variety of industries and company sizes – were asked by how much they expect to shift their marketing mix elements this year, using their 2013 media spend (non-headcount/non-operational spend) as a baseline. Not surprisingly, the top 5 channels by planned budget growth are each digital, while the top 5 media channels by planned budget cutbacks are each traditional.

According to the report, roughly two-thirds or more marketers are planning to increase their budgets for:

  • Social advertising (71%);
  • Online video (71%);
  • Social media (non-ad campaigns; 69%);
  • Retargeting (67%); and
  • Search engine marketing (66%).

These results are supported by earlier research showing, for example, the relative effectiveness of social ads in reaching new audiences, growth in the use of retargeting for lead generation, and continued increases in paid search spending.

Meanwhile, the media slated for the biggest cutbacks are:

  • Print newspapers (39% decreasing spend to some extent);
  • Print magazines (36%);
  • TV (24%);
  • Radio (23%); and
  • Outdoor/billboard (21%).

These changes may be more the result of the attractive user demographics boasted by various digital channels than by their current effectiveness, though, as evidenced by findings contained in recent data-driven MarketingCharts reports that have delved into media spending and advertising effectiveness.

For example, in a recent MarketingCharts Debrief on ad channel effectiveness, traditional media such as TV and print outweighed digital channels in stated purchase influence among consumers – with this in many cases extending to youth, also. (For more, see the Debrief, “Advertising Channels With the Largest Purchase Influence on Consumers”.)

Meanwhile, it’s interesting to see online video among the top areas for growth, with TV among those with the broadest planned decreases. That likely owes not only to the appealing demographics of online video viewers in comparison to TV viewers, but also to the targeting and engagement benefits typically ascribed to online video and to the perceived future of video being increasingly digital. (These and other trends covered in the latest Debrief, “TV in Context: Viewing Trends, Ad Spending, and Purchase Influence.”)

Meanwhile, returning to the CMO Council report, it’s interesting to note that marketers are almost as likely to be keeping their mobile banner ad spend flat (45%) as they are to be increasing it (48%). There appears to be more enthusiasm for mobile search (the largest mobile ad format), which 52% of respondents plan to increase spending on to some extent.

There’s certainly room for growth: mobile apps, display ads, SMS ads, and search rank at the bottom of expected program spending over the next 12 months, per the study. Of course, to what degree they should grow is dependent on their perceived influence: only 1 in 10 marketers chose mobile ads and mobile search as one of their top-5 most effective ways to brand and generate demand in their market, far below the most popular responses:

  • Search-optimized website marketing (48%);
  • Events and trade shows (47%);
  • Social media interaction and engagement (42%);
  • Better targeting and segmentation through marketing analytics (34%); and
  • TV advertising (32%).

About the Data: The CMO Council describes its methodology in part as follows:

“A large sample of 525 CMO Council members from all regions of the world participated, representing a cross-section of industries and companies of all sizes. Most participants (56 percent) report directly to a CEO, president or chief operating officer. A further 18 percent of respondents said they report in to business division chiefs or heads of regional operations. A large number (more than 70 percent) had a vice president title or higher. The remaining senior marketers who contributed to the study were director-level decision makers with budget and operational responsibility. In terms of department size, 42 percent of respondents manage global teams of more than 50 professionals, with 12 percent managing more than 300.

With regard to company size, 45 percent of respondents represent companies of more than $1 billion in annual sales, 27 percent are with companies with revenues between $101 million and $1 billion, and 28 percent work for companies with revenues of less than $100 million. Relative to addressable markets, 41 percent are focused on B2B markets, 23 percent on B2C, and 35 percent crossed both sectors. The locations of companies were also quite diverse, with 50 percent based in North America, 19 percent in Europe, 18 percent in APAC, and 5 percent in both Africa and the Middle East. Three (3) percent of those surveyed represent companies headquartered in Latin America.”

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