Digital channels are beginning to rank among the top-budgeted areas of marketers’ program spend, finds the CMO Council in its latest State of Marketing report. Indeed, websites, microsites and communities now rival trade shows and conferences in share of planned program spend, outweighing TV advertising as well as lead generation and thought leadership (including content syndication). As expected, the biggest changes in the works are reserved for digital channels.
The 500+ respondents to the survey, who hailed from all global regions and a variety of industries and company sizes, were asked by how much they expect to shift their marketing mix elements this year, using their 2013 media spend (non-headcount/non-operational spend) as a baseline. Not surprisingly, the top 5 channels by planned budget growth are each New Media (digital/mobile), while the top 5 media channels by planned budget cutbacks are each Legacy Media (traditional).
According to the report, roughly two-thirds or more marketers are planning to increase their budgets for:
- Social advertising (71%);
- Online video (71%);
- Social media (non-ad campaigns; 69%);
- Retargeting (67%); and
- Search engine marketing (66%).
These results are supported by earlier research showing, for example, the relative effectiveness of social ads in reaching new audiences, growth in the use of retargeting for lead generation, and continued increases in paid search spending.
Meanwhile, the media slated for the biggest cutbacks are:
- Print newspapers (39% decreasing spend to some extent);
- Print magazines (36%);
- TV (24%);
- Radio (23%); and
- Outdoor/billboard (21%).
These changes may be more the result of the attractive user demographics boasted by various digital/mobile channels than by their current effectiveness, though, as evidenced by findings contained in recent data-driven MarketingCharts reports that have delved into media spending and advertising effectiveness.
For example, in a recent MarketingCharts Debrief on ad channel effectiveness, traditional media such as TV and print outweighed digital channels in stated purchase influence among consumers, with this in many cases extending to youth, also. But, much of this ‘traditional media effectiveness theory’ is due to ‘familial grounds’ (that which they have been trained to do) rather than in real effectiveness.
It is interesting to see online video among the top areas for growth, with TV among those with the broadest planned decreases. That likely owes not only to the appealing demographics of online video viewers in comparison to TV viewers, but also to the targeting and engagement benefits typically ascribed to online video and to the perceived future of video being increasingly digital/mobile.
To support this view on video use can be substantiated through many surveys and reports. There is a decided increase of video viewing via digital/mobile, particularly via social media. The reason is the substantial increase in both viewership and engagement. In a recent client sampling by CNA|SOPIS, both viewership and engagement were up 70.1% over tradition postings of still pictures. Along with cost efficiencies, the digital/mobile investment delivers a greater ROI.
Meanwhile, returning to the CMO Council report, it’s interesting to note that marketers are almost as likely to be increasing their mobile banner ad spend to 48% (from 45% last year). There appears to be more enthusiasm for mobile search (the largest mobile ad format), which 52% of respondents plan to increase spending on to some extent.
Mobile in the world of integrated marketing today, is absolutely important. It is the most important aspect of your marketing strategy this year. That is why we say, MOBILENow!