Marketers Say Social Media, Search Are Industry’s Hottest Ad Tools

March 29, 2012

pointroll-most-popular-advertising-tools-in-2012-march2012.jpgSocial media and search advertising are projected to be the most popular advertising tools this year, each cited by 24% of respondents to a PointRoll survey [pdf] of US marketing professionals, conducted by Kelton Research and released in March 2012. Display advertising followed closely, chosen by 22% of respondents. There was then a significant drop-off to online video (11%), mobile or tablet ads (7%), and mobile or tablet apps (6%). Just 1% chose email, text/SMS, or social gaming. Search advertising is more popular among respondents at director level or above, compared to those in supervisory or managerial positions (30% vs. 19%).

Most Will Increase Spend on Digital Channels

In fact, a majority of respondents are planning to up their spend on a variety of digital channels, a position that traditional channels are not slated to share. Among digital channels, the largest proportion say they will increase their spending on social media marketing or ads (79%), closely followed by those who will increase their budgets for mobile marketing or ads (75%). A comparatively fewer 55% say they will increase spending on search advertising, though this compares favorably to just 7% who will either decrease spending (3%) or not use this tool (4%).

Conversely, out-of-home marketing or ads will get an increase from just 16% of marketing professionals, on par with the proportion who will decrease spending in this area. And while 15% will budget more for traditional marketing or ads, 21% will scale back their budgets. Even so, traditional marketing channels still get a big chunk of budgets: 57% of marketing and advertising executives in organizations with revenues of $10 million or more said that most of their spending in 2011 went to traditional efforts.

Audience Targeting Proves Exciting

Meanwhile, audience targeting (49%) tops the list of industry trends that respondents are excited about, ahead of other movements including cross-screen media (40%), web TV (30%), Facebook marketing (37%), social gaming (22%) and digital out-of-home marketing or ads (19%). Excitement about audience targeting is higher at the directorial level and above than at the supervisory or managerial level (56% vs. 44%).

Some of that excitement may be related to necessity: 17% of respondents said that identifying the right audience has been holding them back from doing their job more successfully. According to March 2012 survey results from Acxiom and Loyalty 360, just 49% of company executives agree that they know who their most loyal customers are, and the best way to reach out to them and get them to engage with their brand. In fact, just 10% of respondents strongly agreed with the statement, while about one-third were neutral and roughly 1 in 5 disagreed.

Marketers Using Numerous Tools and Partners

pointroll-no-tools-used-single-campaign-march2012.jpgData from PointRoll’s “Marketing Tools Study 2012” indicates that 28% of marketing and advertising professionals use at least 7 tools during a single campaign to reach their target market, while 62% use between 3 and 6 tools. To help with their efforts, roughly 3 in 10 respondents call on at least 10 partners to help them during a campaign. Even so, this sometimes has the opposite effect than intended: about one-third say that managing multiple vendors typically prevents them from doing their job better, and 1 in 10 say that working more efficiently with vendors is their biggest goal this year.

Other Findings:

  • Marketing professionals would pay a company an average of $107,500 to manage an integrated digital campaign.
  • Increasing sales (31%) and ROI (28%) are the goals most commonly cited as marketers’ most important for this year.
  • Slightly more than half of respondents say that inefficient ROI tracking and measurement has hindered their success at work.
  • Almost all respondents predict they will use online video this year. The most popular formats are in-banner (60%), in-stream (49%) and dynamic or customized video ads (42%).
  • Roughly 2 in 5 respondents believe that they are behind the curve when it comes to digital marketing.

About the Data: The PointRoll data is based on a survey of more than 250 marketing professionals from across the US at supervisor level and above, conducted in January 2012.

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