Email, social media, and mobile rank as marketers' top spending priorities for 2013, according to a survey from StrongMail: 55.5% of marketing executives say they plan to increase spending on email campaigns in 2013; 51.8% plan to boost spend on social media; and 42.8% plan to up their spend on mobile marketing.
In addition, 39.8% of surveyed marketing executives plan to increase spending on search marketing in 2013.
By contrast, tactics such public relations (13.9%) and direct mail (15.4%) will likely take a back seat in the coming year, according to the findings.
Total marketing budgets are set to rise in 2013: 89.1% of marketing execs plan to increase (45.2%) or maintain spend (43.9%), a slight decrease from the 92% who planned to do so for 2012.
Below, additional findings from the 2013 Marketing Trends survey by StrongMail.
Top Email Priorities
Social media is a key focus, even for email campaigns: A plurality (46.2%) of marketing execs plans to increase spend toward email marketing programs focused on social-media channel growth. In addition, roughly one-third plan to focus on promotional batch campaigns (38.8%), lifecycle programs (36.6), and newsletters (34.7%):
Win-back or re-engagement emails (63.3%) are the most popular type of lifecycle campaign, followed by welcome emails (59.8%), renew and replenishment (36.9%), and cart abandonment emails (35.8%), the survey found.
Strategic Goals for Email
Fully one-half (50%) of marketers cite increasing subscriber engagement as their top 2013 email marketing goal; 48% cite improving segmentation/targeting; and 33% cite growing opt-in email lists.
In addition, nearly two-thirds (65%) of marketers say they plan to integrate social media and email in 2013, up from the 44% who planned to do so a year earlier.
Social Marketing Priorities
In the social spending category, marketers are casting a wide net in 2013: A plurality (39.6%) plans to increase spend on Facebook marketing programs; 26.5% on social media management technologies; 23.6% on viral or referral campaigns; and 23.3% on Twitter programs.
Some 16.1% of marketers plan to increase spend on social media staffing, and 14.9% plan to boost spend on Pinterest marketing efforts.
Most Valuable Social Channels
Marketers rank Facebook as the most valued social media channel (receiving a score of 1.92 on a scale of 1 to 8 with 1 being most important). Twitter is No. 2 (2.76), followed by YouTube (3.48), LinkedIn (4.30), Google+ (4.68), Pinterest (5.06), Instagram (6.53), and Yelp (7.27).
Marketers cite awareness building (65.2%) as the No. 1 benefit of social marketing. Customer loyalty and retention is No. 2 (49.9%), followed by expanded reach to new audiences (46.2%), new customer acquisition (36.1%), and lead generation (18.6%).
Mobile Marketing Priorities
In the mobile marketing category, mobile apps (39.1%) and mobile advertising top marketers' priorities in 2013, followed by SMS alerts (21.3%) and location-based marketing (16.3%).
However, there's a lack of consensus on the primary value of the channel. Building customer loyalty (44%) is cited as the top benefit, followed by expanded reach (34%) and awareness building (33%).
About the data: The StrongMail "2013 Marketing Trends Survey" is based on a survey of 1,002 marketing and business executives in a wide range of industries serving, November 14-28, 2012. Some 37.5% are B2C companies, 34.9% are B2B, and 27.7% serve both consumers and businesses.