Survey Says: Email Is Top Area of Marketing Investment in 2013 and Data Integration Is the Biggest Challenge

Investment in Mobile Marketing Increases from Last Year
Nearly two-thirds of businesses surveyed plan to increase their investment in mobile marketing programs such as mobile apps (39 percent) and SMS alerts (21 percent), a combined increase of 11 percent from last year. However, there is a lack of consensus on the primary value of this emerging channel. Building customer loyalty (44 percent) was identified as the top benefit, followed by expanded reach (34 percent) and awareness building (33 percent).

Plans to Integrate Mobile and Email Increase for 2013
Two-thirds of businesses plan to integrate social media and email in 2013, and integration of mobile and email increased from 44 percent in 2012 to 52 percent in 2013. The strong ties between email marketing and social media are also underscored by the 46 percent of respondents who plan to increase investment in using email to drive growth in their social media channels, such as corporate Facebook and Twitter pages. The next popular areas of investment are batch promotional (39 percent) and lifecycle programs (37 percent), followed by newsletter programs (35 percent).

The Power of Social Media for Marketers
More than half of businesses surveyed (60 percent) see Facebook as the most valued social media channel for marketers, followed by Twitter and YouTube. The least valued in order are Yelp, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Google+ and Pinterest fall in the middle with 31 percent making them as the fifth and sixth most valuable channels for marketers.

Email and Social Media Nearly Tied for Increased Investment Email marketing (56 percent) and social media (52 percent) were cited as the top two areas for increased marketing spend. According to the survey, 45 percent of businesses plan to increase their marketing budgets in 2013, and another 44 percent plan to maintain current levels. Only 11 percent of respondents plan to decrease marketing budgets, which is a slight increase over the 8 percent reported in last year’s survey. Other areas of increased spend included mobile and search, at 43 percent and 40 percent respectively. Direct mail (37 percent) and tradeshows (34 percent) are top targets for decreased spend.

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