Companies to Spend More on Digital Marketing

A new survey from Responsys found that enterprises are relying more and more on digital marketing, and are looking to increase spending on digital marketing solutions in the coming year. More than 70 percent of respondents said brand awareness is a key use of digital marketing, second only to customer lead generation. Spending on digital marketing is also expected to increase significantly in 2004 from last year, as nearly 40 percent of those who forecast spending for 2004 said they would spend more than 20 percent of their marketing budget on digital marketing. "The study really confirmed for us that digital marketing is an essential component of a marketer's overall marketing mix," says Kathy Gogan, vice president of marketing for Responsys. "Nearly two thirds of marketers now see digital marketing as having a very high or high level of strategic importance within their organizations." The survey found that B2B firms are using digital marketing solutions more than ever for lead generation, Web site traffic generation, customer education, and for cross-sell and upsell opportunities. Gogan says most B2B companies are investing mostly on one-way marketing, rather than more interactive solutions. "The B2B companies haven't had to embrace digital marketing as much, because they've traditionally relied on their direct sales forces for that direct customer relationship," Gogan says. "They're now starting to look at what B2C is doing, and emulate [its] success from the online channel." Although spending is up, nearly 40 percent of respondents graded their use of online marketing at a C, D, or F, admitting there is plenty of room for improvement utilizing digital marketing more effectively. The top areas of improvements identified by respondents included better analytics and more multichannel integration. Half of all respondents said top improvements would include better customer profiling and analytics, integration of both online and offline channels and touch points, integration of email campaigns with personalized Web-site interaction with customers, and integration of customer information and eCRM/e-support systems, Gogan says. Sixty percent of respondents cited three primary barriers to effective digital marketing results: spam, email filters, and the development of qualified email lists. Recent antispam legislation and privacy issues are also impacting e-marketing efforts, the survey revealed. Nearly half of survey respondents said they would place more emphasis on the quality of email lists, and more than 40 percent have adopted a policy of opt-in email communications only, according to Gogan.
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