More than 75% of senior marketers say they expect spending for new media and online initiatives to increase in the next year despite the tough economy, according to the sixth annual PRWeek/Manning Selvage & Lee (MS&L) Marketing Management Survey.
Only 21% of the 252 US chief marketing officers, VPs of marketing and marketing directors and managers say budgets will remain the same, and 4% expect a decrease:
Marketers appear less bullish about other major marketing disciplines:
- Some 33% of those surveyed expect advertising budgets to increase; 48% say they will remain the same, and 20% expect a decline.
- Public relations spending appears slightly more stable, with 37% anticipating spending more, a majority (52%) expecting to spend the same, and 11% expecting a decrease.
Survey participants also overwhelmingly agree that they would be “most likely” to cut from many other disciplines before turning to digital if forced to scale back budgets as a result of poor economic conditions:
- Advertising is cited as the most likely to be cut (35%), followed by point-of-sale marketing (29%), public relations (16%) and direct marketing (16%).
- Digital, on the other hand, is at the bottom of the list, with only 4% of respondents indicating they would be most likely to cut from this area.
The Rise of CGM
Consumer-generated media (CGM) and new media continue to make inroads among marketers:
Asked which marketing discipline they anticipate being their top priority over the next 6-12 months, nearly three in ten (28%) mention CGM.
Marketers also view CGM as a tool for supporting brand and reputation. More than six in 10 say CGM is important for creating brand awareness (68%), building brands (64%), and being perceived as an innovator (60%). A sizeable proportion of marketers even tie CGM directly to ROI, with 43% saying it is important to sales.
In contrast, most marketers were unwilling to invest in CGM in 2007. Only 12% of respondents from last year’s survey said that CGM was very important to their marketing platforms, and just 22% said they were “very willing” to let consumers play a significant role in shaping their marketing programs:
“These results show us that not only is digital marketing a global capability that marketers must truly embrace for its effectiveness and ROI, it is also a discipline that fares very well in tougher economic conditions,” said Mark Hass, CEO of MS&L Worldwide.
“Digital is an advisable investment because of the strong, measurable results it can produce and targeted audiences it can reach, and it’s also one of the more economical options. On the other hand, advertising is more expensive and PR more vulnerable because marketers feel it isn’t measurable.”
About the survey: Data was collected between May 1-19, 2008. Results are not weighted.