The Marketing Budgets Report, published by Econsultancy and sponsored by Oracle Marketing Cloud, shows that 63% of marketers say that their companies plan to raise overall marketing budgets for 2015, an increase of 3% year-on-year. On average marketing budgets will go up by 25% this year.
The majority of the companies surveyed (77%) say that there will be an increase in digital marketing budgets specifically, a rise of 8% year-on-year. This is an overall growth of 13% from 2010, a year in which the UK was suffering from the economic recession.
Companies are investing in digital marketing budgets despite a slight drop in total revenue gained from digital marketing. Organisations derived an average of 34% of their total revenue from digital this year, a drop from 35% in the previous year.
Marketers say that budgets will increase across all digital channels, with content marketing, lead generation and search engine optimisation taking the lead in a list of 20. Other channels featuring on the list include video advertising, social media investment and email marketing.
Paid search and content marketing will take the biggest share of the budgets, with 13% and 10% of their entire spend going on the respective channels. Other channels such as mobile will only count for 3%, according to the report.
Four in five of the companies surveyed say that they are planning to increase their spending on digital marketing technology such as A/B testing, marketing analytics and personalisation platforms. This is an increase of 13% since 2014. Only 1% of responding organisations plan to invest less.
Significantly fewer companies are planning increased investment in offline marketing channels. Conferences and direct mail are the areas where there is most likely to be increased investment with 38% and 31% of respondents saying that they will increase budgets. Outdoor and radio are the areas in which budgets will be widely reduced with a 37% and 36% decrease in budget, respectively.
In the last two years, companies have been more likely to spend marketing budgets on paid media- such as display advertising or paid search, than earned media- social media or content marketing and owned media- a companies own digital properties.
The investment focus is set to change during the year ahead, as organisations are most likely to increase investment in earned media than ever before. Seventy-one per cent of marketers say that they are likely to increase marketing spend on earned media in the next year, with 67% saying that they will increase spend on owned media and only 61% saying that they will invest in spending for paid media.
Econsultancy’s research is based on a survey of 600 company and agency marketers carried out in December 2014 and January 2015.