Expect huge online growth

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Last month, I wrote about BtoB's year-end research showing marketing budgets increasing this year for 62% of marketers, of whom 79% said they planned to boost their online spending. Then came January, when a brutal fall in the stock market and screaming headlines of a coming recession filled all of us with immediate fear. So in early February, BtoB went back and polled more than 600 marketing executives to see if they had revised their spending plans. BtoB found that, yes, some (29%) were cutting back, but that most (58%) were not changing their plans. And then there were another 12% that said they were actually increasing spending over their original plans. So there remains a lot of potential good news. However, I am not sure the news will be good for print this year. Of the 29% making cuts, 45% plan to cut print spending. This was far greater than the newly planned cuts for events (16%), direct marketing (8%) and online (6%). Clearly, a tough economy, coupled with the relentless focus on measurement, means more demand for lead-generating ad programs. And, as eyeballs continue to move to online media, print is going to continue to decline in importance. I always underline that print is still very important to marketers, but it's just one of many channels now. This year may be rocking your print ship harder than you originally thought, but there is a boatload of money available for your online, event and lead-gen efforts. Bob Felsenthal can be reached at
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