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Email and social media will top areas for increased marketing spend in 2012

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By Ishbel Macleod, PR and social media consultant

December 7, 2011 | 2 min read

Email marketing and social media were cited as the top two areas for increased marketing spend in 2012, according to a survey by StrongMail.

The results, announced as part of the’2012 Marketing Trends’ survey found that of the 939 business leaders who participated in the global study, 92% plan to increase or maintain marketing spend in 2012.

It was found that 60% plan to increase email marketing budget; 55% plan to spend more on social media; with a 37% tie on mobile and search.

More than two-thirds of businesses plan to integrate social media and email in 2012, versus 44% integrating mobile and email. 47% of businesses said they plan to increase investment in using email to drive growth in their social media channels, such as corporate Facebook and Twitter pages.

The top email marketing initiatives for 2012 are increasing subscriber engagement (48%), improving segmentation and targeting (44%) and growing opt-in email lists (32%).

More than a third of businesses plan to increase their investment in mobile marketing programmes such as mobile apps (29%) and SMS alerts (20%). However, there is a lack of agreement on the primary value of this channel: building customer and loyalty (35%) was identified as the top benefit, followed by expanded reach (29%) and awareness building (28%), while 7% said there was no value at all.

Christopher Marriott, vice president of agency services at StrongMail, said: "While email marketing leads the pack in terms of increased of investment in 2012, the data also reveals that marketers need to overcome key challenges around data integration and resource constraints.

"Whether managing and optimising existing email marketing programmes or enabling integration with social media and mobile, there is a real opportunity for full-service email marketing providers like StrongMail to help companies get the most out of their interactive marketing investments in 2012."

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