A survey of leading marketing executives predicts that digital ad spending budgets will increase about 9% in 2013, according to data published by research firm Gartner, Inc. Already, for larger firms, digital marketing spending averages 2.5% of total revenues, a figure that's been increasing in recent years. As a point of reference, Gartner stats showed companies spent 10.4% of their 2012 revenue on overall marketing activities, like advertising research, agency costs and software as a service.
"Digital advertising accounts for the largest share of digital marketing budgets at 12.5%, while content creation and management account for the second-largest share," said Laura McLellan, research vice president at Gartner. "Marketers today are emphasizing the use of content marketing as part of a shift to drive more inbound marketing."
According to respondents, commerce experiences will be a large budget focus this year, as marketers look to embed shopping tie-ins in digital marketing channels including search, social and mobile. The survey also showed that the overall marketing shift from traditional to digital has let firms save money, creating reinvestment opportunities. On average, nearly 30% of marketers have cut their traditional advertising budget to fund digital marketing activities.
Finally, while social media is gaining traction as a marketing tool, websites are still a main driver of success, marketers believe. "The survey results suggest that the corporate website will not be displaced anytime soon by a brand's social media presence," said Bill Gassman, research director at Gartner. "That's all the more reason for marketing leaders to continuously invest in measuring and optimizing their websites through Web analytics and testing, paying attention to all aspects."