Report: Digital marketing spend steadily rising

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Marketers plan to spend slightly more on digital marketing this year than they did in 2011, and are moving some of their spending away from traditional advertising, according to a new report from the Society of Digital Agencies. The organization's 2012 Digital Marketing Outlook Survey, released on Feb. 28, revealed a 2-3% uptick in digital advertising for marketers allocating more than 30% of their budgets to digital.

The report, which drew on the responses of 651 marketers and advertisers from companies of all sizes, also found that 50% of respondents expected their paid digital media to increase, with 8% expecting it to increase significantly. Just 16% expected their digital spend to decrease. This contrasted with paid traditional media, where just 22% planned to increase spend, and 38% expected spend to decrease.

“I don't think it's surprising that people are reorienting their money — digital should be getting more because the time we spend on digital is still out of whack with spending,” said Stefan Tornquist, VP of U.S. research, at Econsultancy, which conducted the study.

Tornquist said that larger companies in particular are spending a growing proportion of their budgets on digital marketing, though he emphasized that the majority of their marketing spend remains in traditional channels.

The survey also looked at the top areas where marketers are seeking talent. Sixty-one percent of respondents said blog writing, editing and copywriting, which represented a single category, would be an increased priority for 2012.

“There is such an emphasis on in-bound marketing, content curation, content sponsorship, that there's a tremendous draw for content production,” Tornquist said.

Fifty-seven percent of respondents cited mobile application development as an increased 2012 priority. Other areas of importance for marketers going into 2012 included digital brand management and measurement (52% of respondents) and mobile site development (50% of respondents).

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