Two-thirds of marketers investing DM budget in social media: Alterian study

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Companies are increasingly shifting their direct marketing budgets to social media, according to a study released January 21 by marketing services firm Alterian. The survey found that two-thirds (66%) of marketers who took the survey will invest in social media marketing in the next year. In addition, it found that of those investing in social media marketing, 40% will shift more than a fifth of their traditional direct marketing budget toward social channels.

The findings come from Alterian's seventh annual survey, which interviewed 1,068 marketing professionals worldwide. It found that of the 66% investing in social, 67% felt that social media is either “increasingly important” or “critical to success.”

“This is showing an increasing professionalism in marketing,” said Bob Barker, VP of corporate marketing at Alterian. “We are getting to the phase of ‘yes, we can' in social marketing. We can listen to customers on social media and engage with them in an interesting way on social media.”

The survey also found that more than a third of respondents (36%) are investing in social media monitoring and analysis tools. “The study shows that all of the digital technologies and the analytics tools are getting more investment,” added Barker. “Data is important and we are seeing marketers paying more attention to it.”

Alterian also found that more than half (51%) of marketers say they are placing a “fair” or “significant” effort on moving from a campaign-centric direct marketing model towards multichannel customer engagement. Only 7% of those marketers surveyed said that they are making no effort to do so at all.

“Social media energizes the whole of marketing because it is one of those key tools that is going to raise the amount information about marketing across the board,” said Barker. “It has an effect on search, on e-mail, and it is all measurable.”

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