The gap between business spending on digital and traditional forms of offline marketing is narrowing, according to figures from a new research study into the attitudes and behaviour of marketers in Australia and New Zealand.
The Emerging Trends In Digital Marketing study, commissioned by customer experience management software supplier Sitecore and conducted in October 2013 by independent research and consulting firm First Point Research and Consulting, found that while expenditure on offline marketing activities still claims the lion's share of marketing budgets, marketing spend is increasingly being directed to digital platforms.
Among the 330 marketers across Australia and New Zealand who were surveyed, offline activity accounts for 61 per cent of marketing budgets, compared to 39 per cent for online or digital activities, but the extent of digital investment varies markedly according to size of organisation. Firms earning less than $2 million annually invest, on average, 55 per cent of the marketing budget on digital activity. Among firms earning between $2 and $19 million, the digital budget consumes 46 per cent of the marketing budget, while for organisations with revenues in excess of $20 million, it is just 33 per cent of the budget.
According to Sitecore, in 2014 this situation will undergo a major shift when, in an effort to catch up to the smaller organisations, large and medium firms boost their investments in online activity and direct approximately three-quarters of the total marketing budget to digital marketing.
The most popular and widely used channels among marketers are the two online channels of social media and emails to the customer database, followed by print, trade shows, online display ads and direct mail. To contradict this however, the top five over-rated marketing channels nominated by respondents are: print, TV, trade shows, direct mail and radio.
Almost half of all marketers (51 per cent) say that limited financial resources is the biggest barrier to greater investment in digital marketing. Just over one third also believe that a lack of education or understanding of digital marketing, and a lack of capabilities in digital software are hampering digital growth.
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