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Email and social media key areas for investment in 2010

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A survey of more than 1,000 business executives around the world has revealed a positive economic outlook and significant increases in marketing budgets for 2010.

The majority of businesses plan to increase marketing spend in email marketing and social media in 2010, making them the top two areas of investment according to the November ‘2010 Marketing Trends Survey’ from online marketing solutions provider StrongMail. Overall, 89% of respondents plan to increase or maintain budgets next year.

The positive outlook is also supported by 50% of polled businesses expecting their customers to spend more in 2010 and nearly a quarter more that expect them to spend the same. Only 8% of businesses project their customers will spend less.

48% of businesses are increasing overall marketing budgets in 2010, and email and social media marketing are the two leading areas of investment at 69% and 59% respectively. Search marketing comes in third at 42%. Conversely, events and direct mail lead the pack in decreased spend at 44% and 42% respectively.

Social media marketing is a clear focus for businesses, with 69% of respondents planning to integrate it with their email marketing campaigns in 2010. However, of those who have already integrated the two channels, only 42% are achieving a lift in campaign performance. 35% report no significant lift and another 23% are unable to measure performance. Respondents identified the top three benefits of social media marketing as awareness building (64%), customer loyalty and retention (49%), and expanded reach (46%).

“As businesses are developing their marketing plans for 2010, this survey reveals a strong focus on high ROI channels like email and emerging ones like social media,” says Strongmail’s Bill Wagner. “While an unprecedented number of companies look to integrate email and social media in 2010, the data shows that companies need to adopt new tools and strategies to properly measure and monetize their efforts.”

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