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Dec 13, 2011
Article

Marketing Research Chart: Biggest budget increases expected in inbound marketing

SUMMARY: Marketing programs aim to deliver against three types of outcomes: increase revenue, reduce cost, and/or improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. Many organizations find that PPC, SEO and other complementary inbound marketing tactics drive results in these areas.

However, will this translate into increased budgets for these programs over the next 12 months? This week’s chart reveals the answer to that question from a survey of more than 1,500 search marketers.
by Kaci Bower, Senior Research Analyst

Marketing Research Chart: Expected marketing budget changes over 12 months

Q. How will budgets for the following marketing line items change in the next 12 months?

View Chart Online

Click here to see a larger, printable version of this chart



Inbound marketing complements the way customers shop -- namely, by starting online. Most organizations expect to increase marketing budgets for inbound marketing tactics. Marketers are increasingly considering these tactics to be cost-effective methods for connecting with prospects and customers.

A much smaller fraction of organizations plan to increase budgets for outbound tactics like print advertising, telemarketing and even direct mail. For many organizations, the returns on time and money invested no longer exist. Even so, organizations are not doing away with these tactics altogether, but are rather modernizing their approaches.

The traditional approach of sending mass messages to a large and varied audience is becoming increasingly less effective. Therefore, many organizations are moving to employ advanced list segmentation techniques to inject more relevancy and personalization into traditional marketing tactics.

The company website is the center of a company’s marketing plans. All lead generation activities, whether inbound or outbound in nature, drive traffic back to the site. This is why a website is commonly referred to as "the hub."

As such, a website is arguably the greatest asset in any marketing mix. It is also one of the most expensive. Nevertheless, because of its central role, companies are prepared to invest in its design, management, performance and optimization.

To illustrate, analyzing the data by primary channel uncovered that 54-72% of all organizations -- regardless of channel -- plan to increase budgets for website upgrades. Additionally, most organizations plan to increase budgets for landing page optimization (LPO). LPO efforts help organizations increase the quantity and quality of visitor response to the website experience.

One other big area of investment is in the interrelated areas of social media and SEO, both major sources of a company’s inbound Web traffic. In terms of pay-per-click (PPC), a smaller percentage of organizations plan to make budget increases in this area, but no one channel stands out in relation to the others.

Segmenting the data by organization size reveals large firms, with over 1,000 employees, are stepping up spending in social media, website upgrades and search engine optimization (SEO), with social media being a particular standout.

Nearly 90%of these organizations expect to increase social media budgets, strongly indicating they see real value potential in these platforms. More than two-thirds of large- and medium-sized organizations also plan to increase PPC budgets.

For additional research data and insights about PPC, download and read the free Executive Summary from MarketingSherpa’s 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – PPC Edition.

Useful links related to this chart

2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report - PPC Edition

PPC Advertising: 5 winning display ad tactics that increased paying customers by 2,900% and dropped cost-per-lead 37%

Inbound Marketing: Social media strategy planning tool

Inbound Marketing: Unlock the content from your emails and social marketing


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