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StrongMail Marketing Survey Reveals Positive Spending Outlook for 2011

December 9, 2010
REDWOOD CITY, CA—Dec. 9, 2010—StrongMail a leading provider of marketing solutions for e-mail marketing and social media, released the results of its “2011 Marketing Trends” survey (download PDF), which provides unique insight into how businesses plan to budget and prioritize marketing dollars in the New Year. Conducted in November 2010, 925 business leaders participated in the global survey.

According to the survey, half of the businesses plan to increase their marketing budgets in 2011, and another 43 percent plan to maintain current levels. Only 7 percent of respondents plan to decrease marketing budgets, a significant improvement over the 11 percent reported in last year's survey. Despite budget increases, respondents indicated a lack of resources/staff to be the biggest e-mail marketing challenge in 2011, representing a potential demand for outsourced marketing services. Integration with customer data and e-mail deliverability rounded out the top three e-mail marketing challenges for 2011.

E-mail and Social Media Lead the Pack; Direct Mail and Tradeshows Face Cuts
E-mail marketing (65 percent) and social media (57 percent) will be the top areas of investment in 2011, followed by Search (41 percent). Direct Mail (36 percent) and Tradeshows/Events (33 percent) are the top targets for decreased spend; however, this is a marked improvement over last year’s survey, which found marketers reducing spend in these areas by 42 percent and 44 percent respectively. [Editor’s note: Given the services StrongMail provides, there is potential for electronic media bias in the survey sample.]

Engagement and Segmentation Are Top Priorities; Facebook is King
The most important e-mail marketing initiatives for 2011 are increasing subscriber engagement (52 percent), improving segmentation and targeting (49 percent), and integrating social media and e-mail marketing (43 percent). On the latter point, a full 71 percent have already integrated e-mail and social, or plan to 2011.

Among social media initiatives, Facebook is the biggest priority (35 percent), followed by viral/referral marketing programs (22 percent). Marketing via Twitter and implementing social media management technology tied for third place (21 percent). Awareness building (63 percent) is the primary goal for social media marketing initiatives, followed by loyalty acquisition (54 percent) and reaching new audiences (42 percent). As is the case with any new channel, social media marketing is seen as least effective at generating leads and revenue.

“As marketers head into 2011, they are focused on increasing subscriber engagement through increased relevancy and automating lifecycle communications,” said Ryan Deutsch, vice president of strategic services at StrongMail. “While it’s clear that marketers are struggling with insufficient resources, this is a challenge that can be easily overcome with the right marketing partner. Our own experience helping clients improve their marketing programs corroborates this finding, as we're seeing a steady increase in demand for our strategic services.”
 

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