Marketers Budget More For Email, Mobile, and Social in 2013

Fire up the cell phones, 2013 is headed in an “on the go” direction according to recent independent research. A study conducted by StrongMail yielded what we all already know to be true: Mobile marketing and social media are on the rise. In fact, of the one-thousand companies surveyed, 56% said they plan to increase the budget for email and mobile-based marketing, while 52% of companies are planning on investing more into the outreach of social media.

Next year looks to be a strong one for email marketing according to a StrongMail survey of more than a thousand marketers released today. The survey found that marketers plan to deploy more budget to email, social and mobile next year — which makes sense given a second study by ReturnPath found mobile open share has increased 300 percent globally since 2010.

StrongMail found that 89 percent of those surveyed plan to increase or maintain the same level of marketing spend in 2013, with 56% intending to grow their email marketing budget, 52% investing more in social media, 43% planning to spend more on mobile and 40% deploying more resources toward search marketing.

Though 46% say integrating customer data is the primary challenge for email marketers in 2013, 65% plan to integrate their email efforts with social media next year, and 52% intend to integrate email with mobile.

Spending on mobile, and email/mobile integration, seems a smart bet for next year, given results of ReturnPath’s global mobile email study. The company found that more people (37%) are opening email on mobile devices than through webmail on a browser (30%), with 4 out of 10 emails now being read on a mobile device. The share of people reading mail on desktop clients has remained fairly steady at just under 40%, likely representing business use of email.

Interestingly, people seem to be selective about what type of emails they read on their mobile devices. Mobile usage is greatest for emails related to retail (40%), consumer products (40%) and real estate (38%), while emails from other sectors, such as banking, are still mostly (60%) opened on desktops.

When it comes to mobile marketing, StrongMail found that the types of mobile marketing programs drawing increased investment in 2012 will be mobile apps (39%), mobile advertising (33%) and SMS alerts (21%). Companies see mobile as a good channel for building customer loyalty (44%), expanding reach to new customers (34%) and awareness-building (33%).

The types of social media programs inspiring additional spend in 2013 include Facebook marketing (40%), social media management technology (27%), viral/referral marketing campaigns (24%), and Twitter campaigns (23%).

In the email arena, more marketers said they planned to focus in 2013 on increasing subscriber engagement (50%), improving segmentation and targeting (48%), growing their opt-in list (33%), and integrating with social media channels (27%).

Though digital channels, and marketing overall, seems to be on a positive trajectory for 2013, certain types of marketing are likely on the chopping block. A large number of marketers surveyed by StrongMail said they’d be reducing spend on direct mail (37%) along with trade shows and events (34%).

Original article found on MarketingLand.com

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