UK marketers to boost digital budgets

02 February 2012

LONDON: Over two-thirds of UK companies plan to boost their digital marketing spending this year, with social media and mobile particularly benefitting from this trend.

Econsultancy, the research group, surveyed 500 executives, with 68% of its brand owner sample agreeing digital budgets would rise in 2012, while 75% of agencies said the same for their clients.

By contrast, only 45% of enterprises anticipated total marketing budgets would rise. For offline marketing only, this rate reached just 16%.

On average, the featured companies committed 36% of their marketing outlay to digital, versus 37% last year. Within this, 54% spent 30% of budget on digital, and 31% spent over 50%.

For those firms increasing their digital marketing expenditure, 79% said they would do so by more than 10%. Another 69% planned to allocate greater resources to social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Elsewhere, a 55% majority of featured organisations believed they had a "good" or "very good" understanding of the payback yielded by digital marketing, off from 59% last year.

However, this total remained higher than was the case for traditional media, on 44%, suggesting the more straightforward metrics for digital measurement – like clickthrough rates – enjoy a stronger standing.

Mobile expenditure is also due to rise, as 57% of businesses will heighten the resources devoted to apps, with QR codes and m-commerce equally in line to witness increasing demand.

Among the main obstacles to further investment were restricted budgets, mentioned by 42% of interviewees, although this could be compared with the 48% logged some 12 months ago.

Looking offline, television was the sole medium where the number of companies expecting to raise their outlay beat that from a year ago, a figure that has grown by one percentage point to 32%.

To enhance their capabilities, 74% of firms are planning to augment their expenditure on digital marketing technology in 2012, a leap from 67% in 2011.

Linus Gregoriadis, Econsultancy's research director, said: "At a time when the importance of the digital economy is so well documented, companies are demonstrating their commitment to online marketing channels and the technology required to make their campaigns as effective as possible."

Data sourced from Econsultancy; additional content by Warc staff