CMOs Up Digital, Cut Traditional

Survey: Marketers' Need to Target Better Benefits Budgets for Interactive

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NEW YORK ( -- Data analytics and customer-relationship management aren't the only disciplines that have benefited in the past year from the slashing and burning of general advertising budgets as marketers try to better focus their ad efforts. Interactive- and digital-marketing budgets have experienced a healthy increase as well.
Steve Cone
Steve Cone

The first quarterly Epsilon CMO Survey reveals that nearly two-thirds of chief marketing officers said their interactive/digital marketing budgets have increased in the past year, while 60% have seen their traditional advertising budgets go south.

The survey, conducted last month, comprised 175 CMOs and marketing executives from some of the country's biggest marketers. More than a quarter of participants work at companies with annual revenue of $10 billion or more.

All about better targeting
The findings reflect marketers' growing need to better target their campaigns, according to Steve Cone, CMO of Epsilon. "The results show that because of the economy, companies are really trying to identify the consumers that are very active in communicating with each other through social computing, blogging or podcasting," Mr. Cone said.

This increase in interactive/digital-marketing budgets has caused marketers to take a more experimental approach when it comes to developing a marketing scheme.

The more popular interactive and digital channels that marketers said they are keen to start experimenting with are social computing (42%), which includes word-of-mouth, social-networking sites and viral advertising; blogs (35%); podcasting (31%); and mobile devices (29%), which include phones and PDAs.

The study also found that some marketers have already started incorporating these tactics, with 19% of respondents already using blogs, 18% making use of podcasting and 22% using mobile devices as part of their marketing mixes.

'Broadest age range'
Mr. Cone said each of these media provides marketers the opportunity to target a wide-ranging group of highly interactive and motivated consumers. "Blogging is a major activity among a relatively educated, affluent and not-as-young-as-you-would-imagine age group," he said. "And when you're talking about podcasting and mobile devices, that's a younger demographic. Marketers are trying to target the broadest age range of consumers, and that's reflected in how these break down from top to bottom. You can find hundreds of thousands of people who are really active in these areas, and they are going to be extremely receptive to offers of relevance."

The study also revealed that CMOs are relying on analytics, CRM techniques and other measurable marketing strategies when determining who they want to go after. Half of the participants said they use data-driven marketing techniques to determine a target market for each channel. And three in 10 said they agree with the statement "You use sophisticated modeling tools to analyze existing customer data (behavioral, preference and demographic)."
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