April 15, 2014

Marketing Research Chart: How are marketing departments allocating budgets?

SUMMARY: "Having a younger target market, many leads are moving to purely mobile devices." – Partner from business consulting agency

Perhaps more leads are moving to mobile devices – but are marketing department budgets following?

For this week's MarketingSherpa Research Chart, we'll look at budget data from the Email Marketing Benchmark Report survey, which is also the source of the above quote.
by Daniel Burstein, Director of Editorial Content

In the MarketingSherpa Email Marketing Benchmark Report survey, 821 marketers shared insights about their budget priorities. We asked:

Q. How do you foresee the percentage of your total marketing budget allocated to the following marketing tactics changing over the next year?

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Let's take a look at some marketers' quotes from the Benchmark Report survey, and how the tactics they discuss are reflected in budget priorities.


"We need to see ROI in a new website and it is difficult to measure the impact of customer engagement. Tracking leads to customer conversion is measurable through to actual sales."

Perhaps because of the robust tracking ability a high-quality website provides, marketers seem to be making the case for bigger investments into the site, with 69% of marketers seeing budget increases in this area.

When we look at the segmented data, B2C marketers were even more likely to be increasing investment in their websites, with 76% increasing website budgets. For retail or e-commerce marketers, 79% are increasing investment in the website.

Email marketing

"Integration of email marketing automation tool with CRM will allow us tailored/scalable marketing approach to increase lead pipeline, enhance lead quality (nurture), etc."

Email marketing does not require a media spend, but doing it effectively — getting the right message to the right person at the right time — increasingly requires technology.

Perhaps this is why 64% of overall respondents and 72% of B2C respondents are increasing their budget allocations for email marketing. One caveat here is this: Since this was an email marketing Benchmark Report survey, email budget increases may be overrepresented compared to the general population of marketers.

Social media marketing

"Just learning to use social media to effectively drive leads for B2B marketing."

Many marketers are still new to social media, and the data indicates they are expanding their investment — 63% of marketers saw a budget increase for social media marketing.

If we break out the data to B2B and/or B2G marketers, the number pretty much holds steady with 62% of marketers indicating a budget increase. A slightly larger 68% of B2C marketers are also seeing an increase.


"As of now, 30% of our site traffic originates from a mobile device. There are no signs of that slowing down anytime soon."

Mobile marketing saw the smallest decrease of any tactic, with only 2% of marketers indicating budget would decrease for mobile, tied with both email marketing and the website for the smallest decrease.

However, less than half of marketers (48%) indicated that the budget would increase. Perhaps that’s because a quarter of marketers are not involved with mobile marketing — 25% answered not applicable or don't know.


"Lead nurturing will be a big focus for several clients, and we will be focusing on integrating email with call center software and databases to allow for more advanced triggering, more emphasis on behavioral campaigns."

While teleprospecting didn't apply to 46% of marketers surveyed, 29% said their budgets will not change and 17% are increasing budgets. However, software or software-as-a-service companies were much more likely to increase teleprospecting budgets, with 32% of these marketing organizations seeing an increase.

Multichannel marketing

The danger of this article would be to overly focus on different channels and tactics as being separate. But as you can see from the numbers, many marketers are likely increasing budgets in more than one channel.

This leaves us with a final piece of advice from the Benchmark Report survey:

"Multichannel approach to touching each customer, giving them value and staying 'top-of-mind' with them for when they are ready to buy. Be a go-to person and thought leader."

Related Resources

How to use multichannel campaign strategy to reach key decision-makers — MarketingSherpa webinar replay

Marketing Research Chart: Tactics that are seeing a budget increase (and decrease)

Email Marketing: A closer look at budgets

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