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More than a third of companies (39%) plan to increase their digital marketing budgets this year at the expense of other channels, according to the new Econsultancy and SoDA Digital Marketing Outlook Report 2013.
A further 16% of respondents said that they would be increasing digital budgets alongside overall marketing spend, while just 11% said they planned to decrease the amount allocated to digital marketing.
Overall it shows that brands are confident of the value of digital marketing and are backing that up with increased investment.
The SoDA Report 2013 includes a survey of 814 marketers, of which more than 84% were key decision makers and influencers, including CMOs, VPs, and directors.
They identified which regions are driving business revenue, told us about the growing number of innovation labs, and gave frank self-assessments of their digital savvy, along with a host of other surprising and not-so-surprising news.
One of the interesting trends investigated by the report is the development of the agency model.
The 2013 survey saw a large increase in the number of respondents from traditional advertising or marketing agencies that had both traditional and digital capabilities. In fact, agency-side respondents were almost evenly split between digital agencies (44%) and traditional shops with digital capabilities (45%).
While the two sets of respondents agreed in many areas, their answers did diverge in a few key topics.
For example, full-service agencies were decidedly less optimistic about the future of independent agencies than their digital-only counterparts.
When asked for their opinion on the negative statement, “Independent agencies do not have a bright future,” only 6% of digital agency respondents agreed compared to a quarter (26%) of full-service agencies.
Similarly, different types of agencies gave almost polar opposite responses when asked for their opinion on the statement: “The best route to growth is specialization.”
A majority of digital agency respondents (56%) agreed that specialization offers the best path to growth as opposed to 32% of respondents from full-service agencies.
While not unexpected that a majority of full-service agencies would disagree with such a statement, it was somewhat surprising that so many actually agreed.
In other words, almost one third of respondents from full-service agencies said they thought the best route to growth is through specialization, suggesting they are not particularly bullish on their own business model.