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2013 Marketing Trends: Increased Investments for Email, Social, Mobile

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December 12, 2012 -- StrongMail, an email marketing and cross-channel marketing solutions provider, released the results of its “2013 Marketing Trends” survey. The feedback from 1,002 business leaders across a wide range of industries offers insight into how businesses plan to budget and prioritize marketing dollars in 2013.

Among the findings, respondents identified email marketing, social media and mobile as the most popular channels for receiving increased investment in 2013.
Being an email marketing firm, the survey questions were digital-centric.

Survey Highlights

Marketing Spend On the Rise

Nine of 10 (89%) business leaders plan to increase or maintain marketing spend in 2013.
Email and Social Media Nearly Tied for Increased Investment
Email marketing (56%) and social media (52%) were cited as the top two areas for increased marketing spend. In addition, 43% plan mobile increase and 40% will up search spend; 27% plan to up advertising budgets and 15% of respondents plan to increase direct mail spend.
Areas of Decreased Spend
The top programs for which respondents plan to decrease spend: direct mail (37%), tradeshow and events (34%), advertising (23%).
Facebook Tops Social Media Investments
The top social media marketing program investments that respondents plan on increasing spend:

Most Valued Social Media
More than half of businesses surveyed (60%) see Facebook as the most valued social media channel for marketers, followed by Twitter and YouTube. The least valued in order are Yelp, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Google+ and Pinterest fall in the middle with 31% making them as the fifth and sixth most valuable channels for marketers. 
Investment in Mobile Marketing Increases
Nearly two-thirds of businesses surveyed plan to increase their investment in mobile marketing programs such as mobile apps (39%) and SMS alerts (21%) -- a combined increase of 11% from last year. However, there is a lack of consensus on the primary value of this emerging channel. Building customer loyalty (44%) was identified as the top benefit, followed by expanded reach (34%) and awareness building (33%).

Plans to Integrate Social and Mobile with Email Increase for 2013
Two-thirds of businesses plan to integrate social media and email in 2013, and integration of mobile and email increased from 44% in 2012 to 52% in 2013.
Marketers Continue to Struggle with Data, Resources and Integration 
Data integration is the primary email marketing challenge in 2013 with 46% of respondents citing this concern; 40% cite lack of resources/staff; 36% integration with other marketing channels; 34% content management.

About: The StrongMail survey was conducted via SurveyMonkey from November 14-28, 2012 with responses from 1,002 business leaders from a wide range of industries tallied. 35% of respondents were from companies with 500 employees or more, 31% from companies with between 51-500 employees and 33% from firms with 1-50 employees. B2C firms accounted for 38% of respondents, B2B for 35%, 28% represent both.

Source: StrongMail, 2013 Marketing Trends, accessed December 20, 2012.