Digital marketing budgets rise in 2013

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In 2013, businesses are set to continue to increase the digital portion of their marketing budgets—in particular, for digital advertising and content creation.

That’s the finding of a recent report from technology research firm Gartner, which compared 2012 marketing budgets for 250 large companies with their predicted spending for 2013. While overall marketing budgets are poised to increase by more than 5% this year, the highest growth is expected in digital marketing, where a 9% rise is forecast.

And, while the shift from traditional marketing to digital tactics is perhaps the most significant trend, Gartner also discovered another interesting development: 41% of companies planning to increase budgets are able to do so using cost savings from previous digital marketing campaigns.

As the role of digital marketing grows, 28% of respondents also plan to reduce their spending on traditional marketing techniques to invest more into broadening their digital marketing activity.

Gartner’s research, conducted among US companies with more than $500 million in annual revenue, found that respondents focused just over 10% of their revenue on marketing in 2012. Of this, they spent 24% on digital marketing and the remaining 76% on more traditional marketing methods.

While digital advertising accounted for the largest proportion of marketing budgets in 2012, the next highest expenditure was on content creation and management. And, as inbound marketing – the use of high-quality content to attract potential customers – continues to grow in popularity, this trend is one that is set to continue.

Commenting on the research, Laura McLellan, Research Vice President at Gartner, said: "Marketers today are emphasizing the use of content marketing as part of a shift to drive more inbound marketing. While outbound marketing emphasizes finding audiences and delivering messages to them (for example, digital advertising and email marketing), inbound marketing focuses on techniques to get found by potential customers and create an ongoing dialogue with them (for example, social marketing and communities)."

There’s also good news for companies worried about trying to keep up with the twin demands of traditional and digital marketing – the research found that large companies are now outsourcing up to half of all their digital marketing activities. So if your business is struggling to stay on top of planned marketing efforts, it’s now officially OK to seek help.

Read the full report here.

Has your business increased its focus on digital marketing this year? Which new tactics are you using in 2013? Is inbound marketing driving visitors to your website?

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