All Aboard the All Digital Train

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By Matthew Yorke

©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.

Technology vendors and users are important indicators of the future of media and marketing. They took to the web earlier than most and tend to be early adopters of technologies and gadgets. Marketers are also willing to experiment. According to a recent survey by IDG Research Services, both buyers and sellers of technology are united around digital and mobile.

Last August, two-thirds of the technology marketers surveyed online said they expect their budgets to rise on average 3.5% next year compared to 2011. Digital programs will capture half the spend with 58% on demand generation and 42% on branding. Events came in second at almost 24%.

Respondents to the IDG survey included 185 tech marketers and 89 agency professionals with 86% in the US.

Digital programs will capture half the spend with 58% on demand generation and 42% on branding.

The survey found that digital spend will be evenly split between branded tech media sites with more than 51% and a combination of ad networks, exchanges without real-time bidding (RTB), and RTB systems.

Spending Priorities and Metrics

As might be expected in a difficult economy, lead generation topped all digital budget categories with almost 27% followed by display/banner at just under 20% and search at almost 19%. As to what is driving digital media investments in 2012, audience composition, ROI and measurement capabilities, audience reach, and data targeting were selected by more than three-quarters of the respondents.

By a wide margin, click through rate is the most important factor in campaign success with cost-per-engagement and interaction rate almost equal in importance.

Content/Custom Marketing

Content marketing, which includes white papers, case studies, custom websites, videos, and white papers, is among tech marketers’ top five spending priorities for 2012. Led by collateral at 71%, followed by webcasts/virtual events at 61%, videos at 59%, research at 55%, and articles/features at 54%, marketers are investing in a wide variety of content marketing or custom programs. Agencies are much more inclined to use custom within media sites/programs than vendors (50% vs. 28%). When asked about the biggest challenges in producing marketing content, marketers cited producing enough material, creating engaging content, and measuring the results.

Approximately two-thirds of the marketers indicate they will outsource one or more projects involving content creation, creative development, ad unit creation, and online production/services. Read more…

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