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More than Half of Marketing Budgets to Increase

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The majority of global marketing professionals expect their overall budget to increase, with about half of respondents projecting overall marketing expenditure to increase slightly and an additional 9% saying it will increase greatly (25% or more increase) during the next year, according to [pdf] a new survey from Alterian. With only 10% estimating a decrease, Alterian projects this indicates good opportunity for industry growth in 2011.

Agencies Most Optimistic

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When looking at industry segment, marketers appear most conservative about spending, where agencies appear most op¬timistic. Agencies (14%) are more likely than marketers (10%) to say expected marketing expenditure will greatly increase (25% or more) during the next 12 months. Marketers are more likely than others (32%, compared to 21% of marketing service professionals and 18% of agencies) to say they plan to maintain overall marketing expenditure during the next 12 months.

3 in 4 Social/Digital Marketing Expenditures to Rise

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Three-fourths of those surveyed estimate their social/digital marketing expenditure will increase during the next year, with one-fourth overall projecting it will increase greatly (25% or more). Alterian says the estimated growth above and beyond overall marketing expenditure projection is indicative that social/digital marketing will drive general marketing growth in the coming year.

MSPs Maintain Social/Digital Expenditures

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MSPs are more likely than others to say they plan to maintain overall social/digital media expenditure during the next 12 months. They are less likely than others to say they plan to slightly increase (5-25%) social/digital media expenditure in the next year. Again, agencies maintain the most optimistic outlook and are more likely than others to say expected social/digital media expenditure will greatly increase (25% or more) in the next 12 months.

Few Company Websites Tailor Experience

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When it comes to audience engagement on company websites, only a small number (11%) tailor each visitor’s experience. With one third using their site as a corporate brochure and more than half (55%) concentrating on offers and campaigns, the large majority do not focus on any kind of individualized company or brand experience based on each customer’s needs and/or information. When it comes to websites, this indicates a mass marketing strategy is still the norm, as opposed to personalization.

Agencies Least Likely to Use Site as Brochure

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Moderately ahead of the pack, agencies are less likely than others to say a client website’s main focus is to serve as a corporate brochure. Alterian analysis indicates that perhaps due to the nature of their business, agencies tend to be more advanced along the engagement maturity model. As consumers begin to expect more from their brand experiences and interactions, other industry segments will be obliged to catch up.

Top Performers More Likely to Have Data Access

Results of the recent Aberdeen Group report “”Predictive Analytics – Driving Sales with Customer Insights” indicate that top performing marketing organizations are more likely to have access to different types of customer data. Dividing respondents into best-in-class (top 20% aggregate performance) and all others (including industry average with middle 50% industry performance and laggard with bottom 30% industry performance), the study shows that 77% of best-in-class organizations have access to all customer transactional data, compared to only 58% of other organizations.

In addition, 64% of best-in-class organizations have access to customer behavior data, compared to 53% of other organizations. Similar discrepancies exist in levels of access to internal unstructured data (55% compared to 39%) and external unstructured data (41% compared to 26%).

Aberdeen advises that access to customer data enables sales-enhancing activities such as modeling lifetime customer value, market segmentation, and prioritizing inbound sales leads.

About the Data:This survey of 1,462 global marketing professionals was conducted from October 9, 2010 to December 17, 2010, both online and offline.

Jan 25-11

Good update on sentiment from the industry courtesy of marketingcharts.com and the team in alterian.com

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