DÜSSELDORF: Some 79% of media planners in Europe intend to increase their online spending in 2009, but will direct their web budgets into a variety of different areas, a new study conducted in 14 countries has found.

The Digital Marketing Compass 6 report was produced by Neo@Ogilvy/Planetactive and SKOPOS, and based on a survey of 873 media planners in nations including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Turkey and the UK.

It stated that online "is already being used as often in Europe as traditional media," while 77% of participants also argued the medium offers a high degree of flexibility, and 44% said it enabled them to "easily" reach their target audience.

Moreover, 43% of the sample agreed that the internet ultimately delivers better results than other, competing forms of media.

Despite this, the web is only set to take a 24% share of all spending this year, with 38% of online campaigns focusing on branding, and 41% on performance and transaction-based communications.

Around a third of media planners regularly used email marketing, with a quarter utilising display or online search, compared with just 7% employing one or more social media tools.

Some 75% of respondents also predicted that changing patterns of media consumption among consumers will exert a profound impact on the media mix used in campaigns, with mobile, online search and email among the channels set to benefit.

In terms of national variations, German and Swiss planners most frequently used display ads and similar web services, while email is popular in countries such as Belgium, Italy and Turkey.

Data sourced from Brand Republic/Neo@Ogilvy; additional content by WARC staff