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Email Marketing and Social Media Are Top Areas of Investment in 2012

December 7, 2011
StrongMail, a leading provider of interactive marketing solutions for email marketing and social media, today announced the results of its “2012 Marketing Trends” survey, which provides unique insight into how businesses plan to budget and prioritize marketing dollars in the New Year.  Conducted in November 2011, 938 business leaders participated in the global survey.
 
Survey Highlights
  • 92% plan to increase or maintain marketing spend in 2012
  • 60% plan to increase email marketing budget; 54% social media; 37% mobile/search (tied)
  • 45% cite data integration as primary email marketing challenge in 2012; 43% lack of resources/staff; 40% content management
  •  48% cite increasing subscriber engagement as top 2012 email marketing initiative; 44% improving segmentation/targeting; 32% growing opt-in email list
  • 68% plan to integrate email marketing with social media; 45% with mobile; 17% with search
Marketing Budgets Remain Healthy; Email and Social Media Attract Increased Investment
Email marketing (60%) and social media (54%) were cited as the top two areas for increased marketing spend. According to the survey, 51% of businesses plan to increase their marketing budgets in 2011, and another 41% plan to maintain current levels.  Only 8% of respondents plan to decrease marketing budgets, which is a slight increase over the 7% reported in last year's survey. Other areas ofincreased spend included mobile and search, which are tied at 37%. Direct mail (28%) and tradeshows (23%) are top targets for decreased spend.
 
Subscriber Engagement is Top Email Marketing Priority; Data Integration is Top Challenge
The top email marketing initiatives for 2012 are increasing subscriber engagement (48%), improving segmentation and targeting (44%) and growing opt-in email lists (32%). Data integration is key to achieving these top priorities, but it is also identified as the primary email marketing challenge in 2012 (45%), followed by lack of resources (43%) and content management (40%). These opposing data points represent an opportunity for email service providers to fill the gap with relevant services.
 
Marketers Focus on Integrating Email Marketing and Social Media
More than two-thirds of businesses plan to integrate social media andemail 2012, versus 44% for mobile and email. The strong ties between email marketing and social media are also emphasized by the 47% of businesses that 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 (44%) and newsletter (39%) programs, followed by real-time lifecycle marketing programs (35%), with an emphasis on winback (68%) and welcome (59%) programs.
 

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