Marketers speak loudly for digital

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We at BtoB conducted our annual “Marketer Priorities and Plans” survey at the end of last year, and the message was clear: B-to-b marketers are planning, despite the state of the economy, to increase digital spending (66% said so) and reduce spending on print (33%). It's no surprise that marketers are moving more money online. What may be a bit surprising to some is the size of the slice digital is now getting from their budgets. Our survey found that more than 70% of marketers now spend more than 20% of their budget on digital, and that the average marketer is putting 35% of its marketing dollars into digital. Spending is going to increase for banners, search, webcasts, video, e-mail and the newest tactic, social media. (Forty-seven percent of those surveyed said they planned to boost their social media spending this year, while only 7% said they planned to cut back.) With measurement and efficiency more important this year due to the downturn in the economy, marketers will also be very focused on lead generation, and that means using digital more than in the past. Sixty-two percent of the marketers surveyed said their No. 1 marketing objective is new-customer acquisition. That compared with 20% who said customer retention and 12% who said branding. Everyone reads the statistics in his or her own way, but I see this as an opportunity for all of us to grow digital more this year than last. Put your focus there and keep redeploying assets to digital. Bob Felsenthal can be reached at
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