Online media continues to gobble up marketing budgets at the expense of more traditional forms -- a pattern we've seen for some time. The chart below puts numbers to the trend. More than 1,100 marketers were asked about the channels in which their companies would be investing more, or less, in 2011.
Marketing spending in 2011
Print, broadcast, and direct mail will lose budget in more shops than they will gain; no surprise there. On the winning end, the dependable online tactics of search (SEO), Website, and email marketing will see far more companies increasing investment than decreasing.
The new kid on the block, of course, is social marketing. This year social joins the old standbys, with 57 percent of respondents saying their companies will invest more, and only 4 percent saying they will disinvest.
Online display ads, telemarketing, and public relations fall somewhere in between -- all with more companies investing than cutting, but to a lesser degree than the winners above.
"US marketers will spend $3.08 billion to advertise on social networking sites this year," according to eMarketer. "Spending will be up 55% over the $1.99 billion advertisers devoted to social networks in 2010 and will rise by a further 27.7% next year to reach nearly $4 billion." Interestingly, this recent 2011 estimate is a billion dollars higher than one from last August. The disparity is laid entirely to spending on Facebook advertising, which is slated to rise more than $2 billion this year.
You can dig deeper into the trends for social media marketing via this deck. While the patterns mentioned above are fully on display, a cautionary note is that 47 percent of companies surveyed believe the jury is still out on ROI from social initiatives.
This presentation raises a provocative point about metrics for social media: Are we looking at measurement in the wrong way? Perhaps we should take a clue from Demand Media, which was the first to turn search on its head by writing articles based on what people were searching for. Instead of tracking response to what you do in social media marketing, should you be measuring what consumers are doing and fit your marketing to that?
Here is a blog with a contrarian view, arguing that mass media (defined there as "TV, print, and outdoor") aren't dead yet and won't be any time soon, for truly mass-market products at least. It's UK-centric -- anyone have numbers on advertising spend by category in the US in 2010? Let us know in the comments.
— Keith Dawson , Senior Editor, The CMO Site.
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