Digital sparks offline budget boost

UK marketers are planning to boost spend on traditional techniques, such as direct mail, on the back of renewed confidence in the market that offline channels can complement digital in driving website traffic.
This is one of the key findings of the Econsultancy and SAS Marketing Budgets 2011 report, which also shows 72 per cent of respondents plan to increase their digital budgets by up to 35 per cent. Meanwhile, over half of firms surveyed plan to up their overall marketing budgets.
Out of a range of marketing technologies, the research found that companies are most likely to be investing in business analytics and Web analytics software, with 45 per cent of respondents saying that spending here will increase in 2011.
This focus reflects the on-going need to improve and measure the effectiveness of marketing channels, and how they relate to each other. The next most buoyant areas for technology investment are CRM (40 per cent), content management systems (39 per cent) and email platforms (also 39 per cent).
Richard Kellett, director of marketing at SAS UK, said: “The marketing environment continues to evolve in radically new ways. The proliferation of new channels, and changes in how we communicate through these channels, continues to put significant pressure on both our marketing budgets, and the skills and imagination of marketing professionals. It comes as no surprise then, that in this economic environment, we have seen companies looking to rely more on analytics software to not only help measure and improve the effectiveness of their marketing activities but also justify the allocated budget.”
Econsultancy research director Linus Gregoriadis said: “While digital continues to be buoyant, there is also evidence of a comeback for offline marketing channels. The effectiveness and measurability of digital is giving companies confidence that offline marketing investment is also paying dividends. Companies are investing in offline marketing channels to complement increased digital investment, with integrated campaigns to drive searches and website traffic.”
The study partly supports the findings of the latest Bellwether Report, which showed that direct marketing, Internet advertising and paid search were the only disciplines to see a rise in spend during the last quarter of 2010.
The report, based on a survey of more than 500 in-house and agency marketers carried out between December 2010 and January 2011, is available at http://econsultancy.com/uk/reports/marketing-budgets

Related stories:
Online sales rocket to £5bn in Jan
Direct marketing; it’s the future
DM and online up says Bellwether

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