Marketing budgets in 2011: the cross-channel marketing approach rules


According to Econsultancy and their "Marketing Budgets 2011 Report", digital marketing may actually be helping to fuel a bit of a comeback for traditional media channels such as TV and radio.

Most of the 200 respondents to the survey were UK based companies and of those, 72% reported their digital spending will increase this year. No surprise there. As the author points out, there has been an effort to portray digital marketing as something which far more measurable than traditional media and thus, it's a better investment - this certainly plays well in hard economic times.

Ironically, the "year of social" as 2010 has been called, pushed such channels as Twitter and Facebook as advertising panacea even though they don't have robust measurement at this time. That shortcoming was simply countered by hype about social being the place to be.

Now that the social hype tsunami has receded  marketers are realizing that neither social nor any other channel makes magic when it comes to marketing but that it's all about the multi-channel consumer and a proper cross-channel marketing approach. No one river has all the fish and no one bit of tackle works for all species.

An increase of marketing investments in multiple channels

Most importantly, the "fish" have evolved and now migrate between lakes at will. To keep pushing this analogy, you can think of all the different marketing channels out their as lakes or rivers. What river or lake you choose to toss a line into depends on what kind of fish you want to hook. As much as fishermen enjoy scenery, they won't cast their lines into water where they know there are no fish, even if it is the prettiest lake on the planet.

The Econsultancy post cites 3 main reasons for the uplift in offline marketing spending:

  • The improved economy means companies are investing more advertising money across multiple channels.
  • Companies are taking a more "holistic" approach to marketing and realizing that digital and offline can work together to increase leads and conversions. Any kind of thinking which can motivate an organization to break down silos is a good thing and this hopefully will assist with that.
  • For some companies there is the idea that they may have hit a saturation point for digital marketing relative to the more expensive traditional media. As the post points out, the wonder of digital is wearing off and it's becoming more an issue of execution and optimization. Keep in mind that even though this may be the case for the early arrivals to digital -- not everyone arrived early for this party and some of them are still trying to "pin the tail" on the donkey.

It's good to see some indications that corporate marketers are relying less on the hype and more on some sober second thought to decide on where to spend their marketing money. It's always been a myth that everyone is on social or even online. It's a multi-channel world populated by cross-channel consumers and what really matters most is being where they are when they are. Let's hope more companies realize this and focus on a strategy which makes it a reality for consumers.


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