SINGAPORE: Marketers are increasingly using digital and social media in Singapore, new figures show.

Marketing services firm GetIT Comms and trade body the Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation surveyed 214 executives in the country.

Overall, 52% reported annual marketing budgets had grown, and only 13% suggested the resources available had declined year on year.

This constituted a strengthening of the situation from similar analysis published last year, when 43% of the panel augmented funding levels.

Interactive channels are the main beneficiaries of such trends, with 66% of companies raising category spending and 65% boosting social media expenditure.

By contrast, 32% of respondents plan to implement parallel improvements regarding traditional mediums like print and TV, alongside 38% expecting to maintain their outlay and 24% cutting back.

A further 32% are directing greater capital to PR, while 49% continue spending at the previous rate, and 12% rein in expenditure.

The aggregate totals for public relations and traditional media remained broadly consistent compared with 2010.

However, the proportion of participants that were lifting their interactive and social media outlay both increased by over 20 percentage points annually.

Currently, 83% of the sample used the web as a tool for providing information and news, measured against 70% citing lead generation, and 23% referencing ecommerce.

Google AdWords was named as the preferred search advertising platform for 91%, beating Yahoo's 27% and Bing's 4%.

Some 65% of featured enterprises had established themselves on Facebook, easily surpassing 43% last year, amounts standing at 42% and 32% respectively concerning Twitter.

Another 38% of firms were active on YouTube, also a double-digit jump, and LinkedIn saw a one-point uptick to 36%.

Less positively, blogging had seen uptake fall from 35% to 34%, the study revealed.

The core purpose of leveraging Web 2.0 properties today are building brand and product awareness, registering 63% and 57% in turn.

Lead generation hit 43% on this metric, in front of customer engagement on 43% and "thought leadership" on 25%.

When discussing the next six-to-twelve months, lead generation gained in importance, with 61%, still behind the 70% secured by brand awareness, but ahead of product awareness, which logged 60%.

Customer engagement received 61% here, and thought leadership yielded 39%.

In all, 83% of contributors either "agreed" or "strongly agreed" that social media has proved an effective marketing channel, and just 2% believed it had "no value".

At present, marketing teams manage social media for 61% of companies, and IT support is charged with this responsibility in 26% of cases.

Elsewhere, 16% spread activity across various business units, 15% outsourced it to an agency, and 11% worked on a largely "ad hoc" basis.

A 63% majority of interviewees dedicate a minimum two hours per week to social campaigns, coming in at five hours or more for an additional 31%.

"Most respondents comprehend the changing marketing landscape and are willing to commit higher budgets for social and interactive digital media," Anol Bhattacharya, ceo, GetIT Comms, said.

"In addition to brand and product awareness, social media marketing is now also being looked at as the ideal platform for lead/demand generation, lead nurturing and showcasing thought leadership - a very exciting prospect for marketers."

Data sourced from Asia Media Journal; additional content by Warc staff