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Digital Marketing Trends: More Money Going to Proven Channels

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Both brand and agency marketers expect digital marketing budgets to continue to grow in 2014, according to a recent report from Conversant.

However, marketers and agencies are planning to primarily increase spend on proven channels, with a much smaller share going to unproven tactics.

Overall, agencies expect a 20% year-over-year growth in digital spend in 2014, and brand marketers expect a 38% increase.

Advertising and marketing decision-makers say video spending will continue to grow and will play a dominant role in their 2014 digital marketing plans. Approximately 61% of marketers surveyed plan to use the channel as part of their strategies.

Cross-device spend is also set to grow substantially, with 59% of advertisers planning to invest in the channel.

Below, additional key findings from the report, which was based on data from a survey of 200 senior-level agency and brand decision-makers with digital budgets of at least $2 million.


  • 73% of marketers surveyed say personalized one-to-one digital marketing is the future.
  • However, marketers and agencies differ on the current effectiveness of personalization: 44% of marketers strongly agree that personalized messages are more effective than mass messages, compared with 30% of agency respondents.

Vendor Overload

  • Nearly half of agencies surveyed (49%) and 33% of marketers say there are too many digital marketing vendors.
  • The average number of vendor relationships in 2013 among those surveyed was 27.

Real-Time Bidding (RTB)

  • Marketers with digital budgets of greater than $10 million expect to spend 45% of that money in 2014 via RTB.
  • Not surprisingly, those larger brands also say RTB is a more important part of the digital mix: 38% rate RTB as "extremely important," compared with just 21% of brand marketers with less than $10 million to spend.

About the research: The report was based on data from an online survey conducted between October 18 and November 4, 2013 among 200 senior level marketers and agency decision-makers with a minimum digital spend of $2 million in the previous 12 months.

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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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