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Despite anticipated increases in 2011 digital and social marketing budgets, only 30.0% of marketers say they have a strong understanding of social media conversations happening around their brandsaccording to a survey from Alterian.

Nearly one-third of surveyed marketers (31.4%) say they have little or no understanding about social media conversations around their brands, and 38.6% say they use a few ad-hoc tools to track and measure social media conversations.

Agencies are more likely than others to claim to be in tune with brand-related social conversations: 44% say they report regularly to management on the social media conversations happening around client brands, compared with 27% of marketers and 26% of MSPs (marketing services providers).

Below, other findings from Alterian's 8th annual marketer survey titled "How Engaged Is Your Brand?"

Website Personalization

Few (11%) marketers say they tailor website experiences to individual visitors. Some 55% say they concentrate on campaigns to drive website activity, and 34% say they use their company website as a corporate brochure.

Moderately ahead of the pack, agencies are less likely than others to say a client website's main focus is to serve as a corporate brochure: Only 24% do, compared with 31% of marketers and 37% of MSPs.

Email Engagement

Email personalization is more advanced than other channels: 43% of marketers say they use some type of segmentation strategy to deliver specific email messages to each audience, although only a small portion (13%) deliver emails based on preferences at the individual customer level, monitored in real-time.

Brands at Risk

In view of the self-reported findings, nearly four in five markers say they're concerned about their brand being at risk:

  • 57% say they're aware their brand is somewhat at risk—and are taking action.
  • 13% agree their brand is at risk, but haven't taken action.
  • 7% say their brand is at risk, citing major concerns, but say they're not sure how to take action.

Less than one-quarter (22.71%) say their brand is not at risk.

Looking for great digital marketing data? MarketingProfs reviewed hundreds of research sources to create our most recent Digital Marketing Factbook (May 2010), a 296-page compilation of data and 254 charts, covering email marketing, social media, search engine marketing, e-commerce, and mobile marketing. Also check out The State of Social Media Marketing, a 240-page original research report from MarketingProfs.

Anticipated 2011 Marketing Spend

Nearly three in five marketers (57%) expect their overall marketing expenditure will increase slightly (5-25%) in 2011, with 9% expecting an increase of 25% or more.

Similarly, three-quarters (75%) of marketers expect their social/digital marketing expenditure to  increase over the next year with 23% projecting increases of 25% or more.

Other key findings:

  • Most marketers focus on creating a customized brand experience for at least one channel: Only 9% acknowledge they don't personalize any channel.
  • Many marketers are limited in analytical competency: 28% struggle to tie analytics back to the campaign strategy and 29% have basic analytical skills.
  • 66% of marketers report friction between IT and marketing for a variety of reasons, including implementation issues (21%), budget (17%), prioritization (15%), and marketing tool selection (13%).

About the data: Alterian's Eighth Annual study is based on a survey of 1,500 marketers, agencies, marketing services providers (MSP), and systems integrators (SI),  conducted from October to December 2010. 

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