Most marketing executives cite email or search marketing as their company's top-performing advertising channel in 2009—39.4% and 23.6%, respectively—and over nine in ten (93.6%) say they plan to increase their budget allocation to digital marketing in the next five years, according to the Fourth Annual Marketing and Media Survey from Datran Media.

Just 9.4% of marketers cited offline channels as their most effective response channel last year. Another 4.7% cited social media, while mobile marketing, still in its early stages, was cited by 0.8% of marketers.

Below, other findings from the Fourth Annual Marketing and Media Survey from Datran Media.

Budget Shifts to Online in 2010 and Beyond

Among marketers who plan to increase investments in digital marketing, 75.2% say their allocations will increase steadily as 2014 approaches, while 18.4% say their allocations will increase greatly.

Moreover, 58.4% plan to reduce or keep flat their offline marketing budgets.

In 2010, most marketers (59.8%) are allocating over one-half of their overall multichannel advertising to digital channels. Another 15.2% of marketers are allocating 30-50% of their budgets to digital, and 7.1% of marketers are allocating 20-29% to digital.

Online Marketing Objectives

Asked to identify their company's objectives when conducting online marketing, marketers cited the following:

  • Reach a target audience: 82%
  • Lead generation: 72%
  • Convert leads into sales: 63.2%
  • Measure and understand audience: 60.0%
  • Retain existing customers: 56.8%
  • Digitally transact with customers: 53.6%
  • Avoiding wasted media spend: 40.0%

Among specific tactics, over three-quarters (77.6%) of marketers are using targeting as part of their online marketing strategy this year. Some 71.2% say they are employing customer analytics and measurement tools.

Over six in ten (62.3%) are focusing both on retention and loyalty campaigns and on email list growth.

Mobile, Social, and Video

Interest in online video and mobile marketing is substantial this year: 67.2% of marketers are planning to leverage video, and 54.4% are planning mobile marketing initiatives targeting smartphones users (vs. 34.3% who planned to do so last year).

Marketers are leveraging social media as well: 72.3% have a company Facebook page, and 72.0% have a company Twitter account.

Still, marketers are mixed on whether social media marketing can deliver results: 50.4% say social media will generate quantifiable results this year (vs. 49.4% last year); however, another 37.6% are uncertain and 12.0% say social media cannot deliver quantifiable results this year.

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Online Audience Analytics

Marketers are focused on quantifying ROI this year: 72.8% say they now use audience measurement and analytics to assess the success of their digital campaigns, while just 21.6% do not.

Over one-half (54.4%) of marketers say they have optimized campaigns based on audience measurement analytics, while 29.6% have not done so as yet, but plan to in 2010 or beyond.

Most marketers cite clicks (72%), conversions (59.2%), and impressions (58.4%) as the three most important metrics:

Driving Brand Awareness and Revenue with Analytics

Nearly one-half  46.4%) of marketers say accurate online audience measurement is very important for driving increased brand awareness, revenue, and better campaign performance, while another 40.8% say it is somewhat important.

Among the greatest challenges to conducting online audience measurement, marketers cite the following:

  • Accuracy: 29.5%
  • Lack of ability to take action on data: 23.2%
  • Wasted impressions: 9.6%
  • Standards: 8.0%

Some 26.4% of marketers say they do not conduct online audience measurement.

About the data: Findings are from the Fourth Annual Marketing and Media Survey, conducted in December 2009 by Datran Media among over 5,000 marketing executives from Fortune 500 brands, top publishers, and leading advertising and media agencies. The survey was conducted in association with the Direct Marketing Association Email Experience Council and other media partners.

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Marketers: Shifting to Digital; Email, Search Perform Best

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