2012 Budget Survey Results: Spending Plans Shift toward Social, Mobile

by | Jul 25, 2011 | Best Practices, Blog, Blog Archive, Distributed Marketing, Industry News, Multi-Channel Marketing | 0 comments

According to a new survey conducted July 5-20, 2011, spending plans for 2012 are shifting towards social and mobile marketing communications channels, as marketers at large and small businesses begin the process of preparing their budgets for the coming year. 

Survey responses highlighted below focus on marketing objectives, spending priorities, and spending plans.  The first table shows the split between large enterprises and smaller companies, but the other two tables show overall marketing budget plans across the board. 

Which of the following business objectives are the most important when setting your 2012 marketing budget?


Which of the following marketing communications channels are included in your current marketing plan?  In your 2012 plan?

Do you expect your budget for the following marketing communications channels to remain the same, increase, or decrease in 2012?

The message from all survey respondents is clear:  whether they work in B2B or B2C marketing, marketers are very well aware that consumers are driving the shift in channel value, and marketers are following suit.  At the same time, marketers aren’t abandoning channels like email marketing, print, and display advertising, although many are planning lower budgets. 

According to Tim Storer, CEO of Distribion, getting budget approval for 2012 is going to require a detailed business case as organizations try to maximize results at the lowest possible cost.  “We’re going to the PIMA Mid-Year conference later this week with a presentation that shows how our existing clients are making the case for next year’s budgets — it’s a new way of communicating to management that focuses on efficiency, savings, and increased revenue.  Instead of talking only about spending and ROI, the best business case includes a focus on operational efficiencies, resources, and cost control.”

Storer says that multi-channel distributed marketing automation platforms from vendors like Distribion are playing an increasingly important role in the budget planning process.  “If you can show how technology reduces cost — in time, dollars, and lost opportunity — with specific metrics based on real world experiences within your industry, it’s a lot easier to get approval for spending,” he adds.  “That’s what we’re offering at the conference this week: the metrics people can use to get spending approved next year. 

“We built the business case around the experiences of our current customers.  That’s a large base — over 125 companies, with over 150,000 users — to draw on, and the model has proved to be very popular with management and very easy to adapt for most of our prospective customers who want to build their own business case for 2012.”

Methodology:  The Distributed Marketing Blog’s marketing budget survey included responses from 190 marketing managers, directors, vice presidents or CMO’s; about half (48%) come from small and mid-size businesses, and the rest from large enterprises (52%).  Respondents were split between B2C (40%), B2B (38%) and marketing organizations charged with reaching both for different products or lines of business (22%).
The median 2010 revenue for the small and mid-size businesses (<200 employees) was $5-15 million, and the median revenue for enterprises participating in the survey was more than $500 million.  Responses were gathered July 5-20, 2011 through an online survey that included questions about spending plans, marketing communications channels, and distributed marketing automation.

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If you’re among the marketers expanding your use of digital and social media for 2012, join Distribion, LIMRA, and Socialware on August 10 for  Reaching Your Audience Effectively:  The 5W’s of Digital & Social Media.  The free webinar focuses on targeting, persuading, and engaging customers using online media.  Register now for the free webcast scheduled for Wednesday, August 10, at 11 am Central Time.