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Businesses are gearing up to increase their marketing spend on email marketing and social media in 2010, making those the top two areas of marketing investment in 2010, according to the just-released  2010 Marketing Trends Survey by StrongMail Systems.

Signaling a positive economic outlook for 2010, 50% of more than 1,000 global business leaders polled said they expect their customers to spend more in 2010, and 23% expect them to spend the same. Only 8% expect their customers to spend less.

Moreover, 89% plan to increase or maintain marketing budgets in 2010: 48% plan to increase; 41% plan to maintain.

However, the marketing mix is changing, with email and social media the leading areas of increased investment:

  • 69% plan to increase spending on email marketing.
  • 59% plan to increase spending on social media.
  • 42% plan to increase spending on search marketing.

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Meanwhile, marketers plan to reduce spending on some programs:

  • 44% plan to reduce spending on events.
  • 42% plan to reduce spending on direct mail.

Social media is a clear focus for businesses, with 69% of respondents planning to integrate it with their email marketing campaigns in 2010. Among those who have already integrated the two channels, 42% are achieving a lift in campaign performance; 35% report no significant lift; and 23% say they are unable to measure.

Asked to identify the top benefits of social media  as a marketing channel , marketers selected the following:

  • Awareness building (64%)
  • Customer loyalty and retention (49%)
  • Expanded reach (46%)
  • B2B lead generation (20%)
  • Driving revenue (12%)

"As businesses are developing their marketing plans for 2010, this survey reveals a strong focus on high ROI channels like email and emerging ones like social media," said Bill Wagner, executive vice-president of business operations at StrongMail. "While an unprecedented number of companies look to integrate email and social media in 2010, the data shows that companies need to adopt new tools and strategies to properly measure and monetize their efforts."

Survey-Highlights Summary

  • 89% of businesses plan to increase or maintain marketing spend in 2010.
  • 50% of businesses expect customers to spend more; 23% to spend the same; 8% to spend less.
  • 69% of businesses plan to increase marketing budget for email; 59% social media; 42% search.
  • 69% of businesses plan to integrate email and social media in 2010.
  • 64% of businesses identify increasing awareness as primary value for social media.

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