Majority of US Marketers Say They’ll Increase Social and Content Budgets in 2014

November 7, 2013

WebMarketing123-Digital-Mktg-Spending-Increases-in-2014-Nov2013Many marketers are planning to increase spending next year across a variety of digital channels, ranging from content creation to social media, email marketing and display advertising, per results from a Webmarketing123 survey. Content creation (such as videos, webinars and white papers) ranks as a top area for increased spending among B2B respondents, with 69% saying they’ll hike these budgets next year. A slight majority of B2C marketers concur, echoing recent research from the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs.

For B2C respondents, social media is a particularly popular area for increased spending, with 65% planning to increase their budgets next year. A healthy 56% of B2B marketers agree.

Other channels expecting to get a boost in budgets next year include email (47% B2B; 44% B2C), display (44% B2B; 48% B2C) and SEO (49% B2B; 42% B2C).

Those budgets will be growing from a relatively small base, per the study. While much has been made of the shift in budgets from traditional to digital marketing, the Webmarketing123 survey indicates that digital marketing currently only occupies 25% of respondents’ budgets on average.

Hampering growth in digital marketing budgets is that old foe: inability to prove ROI. Roughly one-quarter of respondents named that the top barrier to budget increases, outpacing other concerns such as lack of overall company revenue growth (18%), lack of buy-in from management (15%), and lack of clear strategy (15%).

The study authors argue that one of the problems – at least for B2C marketers – in proving ROI lies in the success metrics they’re using. A plurality 22% share of respondents said that they measure digital marketing success through website traffic (an equal percentage named conversion rate – of leads to customers – as their top metric, though). Meanwhile, fewer than one-quarter of B2B respondents named website traffic their top metric, down from 75% just 2 years ago.

Other Findings:

  • 41% of respondents said they don’t have an attribution model in place. Interestingly, though, 22% said they use a multi-channel model, a larger share than using any other attribution method.
  • 36% of respondents are running retargeted ads, and 43% of those find them effective.
  • About 7 in 10 B2B marketers and 86% of B2C respondents plan to increase their investment in mobile next year. Currently, a larger proportion of B2C (71%) than B2B (57%) respondents say their web presence is web friendly.

About the Data: The third annual Webmarketing123 State of Digital Marketing Survey was conducted in the fall of 2013. More than 500 U.S. marketing professionals completed the survey ”” all participants responded to an email invitation. Participants answered questions using an online survey tool.

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