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Email Marketing Budgets Continue to Rise as Marketers Strive to Improve Automation, Relevancy and Data Access According to StrongView Survey

(REDWOOD CITY, CA), DECEMBER 10, 2014 - StrongView, a leading provider of email marketing and cross-channel marketing solutions for enterprises, today released the results of its 2015 Marketing Trends Survey, in which global marketers voiced continued reliance on email marketing for 2015 but noted the importance of getting more out of their efforts, particularly by leveraging data and automation to drive more relevant and engaging programs.

Top channels targeted for increased investment remain email, social media and mobile. The survey results also point out the continued decline of print advertising, direct mail and radio in the overall marketing mix as connected devices and consumers lead to more reliance on digital channels.

StrongView’s annual Marketing Trends Survey generated nearly 400 responses from leaders at global brands in regards to their marketing program intentions, focus and budget allocation for the coming year, along with key challenges and strategies.

Budgets on the Rise
While offline advertising budgets are in decline, email and other digital marketing channels continue to grow. At 61%, email marketing remains the top target for increased investment in 2015, and a full 93% plan to maintain or increase investment in email for the 2014/2015 holiday shopping season. In terms of overall marketing budgets, 54% of brands will see an increase (vs. 46% in 2014), and a third of those will be increasing it by more than 10% over 2014.

Context and Automation
Marketers noted that they are increasing efforts to improve context and relevancy through the application of myriad types of consumer data. They also reported an increased emphasis on automating programs, with triggered (42%) and lifecycle (41%) being the top two types of email programs to receive increased investment. Among lifecycle email marketing programs, Loyalty (45%) and Welcome (36%) programs led in terms of attracting more investment.

“It is clear from the 2015 Marketing Trends Survey results that marketers consider email the fulcrum of their digital marketing campaigns,” said Shawn Myers, vice president of marketing at StrongView. “Accessing and leveraging data remains a challenge, but marketers are making inroads in using automation as well as greater use of channel and device engagement data to make their messages more contextual. As we head into 2015, the real opportunity will be for email marketers who can go beyond leveraging mere profile and purchase data to understand the current context of each customer at the moment of open, and dynamically deliver relevant messages accordingly.”

Survey Infographic:
Dive into the 2015 Marketing Trends Survey results with StrongView’s infographic.

Key Marketing Trends Survey Findings:
Top three programs for which marketers plan to increase spend in 2015:

  • Email – 61%
  • Social Media – 49%
  • Mobile Marketing – 40%

93% of marketers reported that their email marketing budget was either staying the same or increasing for the 2014/2015 holiday shopping season.

Top three programs for which marketers plan to decrease spend:

  • Print Advertising – 33%
  • Direct Mail – 22%
  • Radio/Television Advertising – 18%

Top three concerns for marketers heading into 2015:

  • Accessing and leveraging customer data from multiple channels and data sources – 30% 
  • Coordination across marketing channels – 16%
  • Developing more relevant engagements – 13%

Automated programs are at top of list for increased investment in 2015:

  • Triggered/Transactional Programs – 42%
  • Lifecycle Programs – 41%

Touch points in the lifecycle where marketers are focusing spend in 2015:

  • Loyalty – 45%
  • Welcome – 36%
  • Winback/Reengagement – 27%
  • Post-Purchase – 27%

Marketers struggle with accessing and leveraging new forms of data, with only half using commonly held data in their campaigns.

  • Demographic Data – 51%
  • Purchase History – 48%

Marketers still unable to leverage other important data such as:

  • Web Behavior – 31%
  • Sentiment – 20%
  • Life Stage – 19%

Survey Data
View the full results of StrongView’s 2015 Marketing Trends Survey.

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