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Manufacturers Shift Marketing Dollars Online

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Manufacturers focusing on quantifiable ROI for advertising increasingly prefer online advertising - especially online directories/Web sites, e-mail marketing using in-house lists, and search-engine optimization.

While you may think of the manufacturing sector as "old economy," it's increasingly "new economy" in the way it conducts its marketing efforts. That's one conclusion to be drawn from a new GlobalSpec report that analyzes polling during the first quarter among marketing and sales professionals at manufacturing companies.

By Mark Dolliver at Adweek.com

Twenty-nine percent of the respondents said they already spend more than half of their marketing budget online. And 48 percent said online marketing will account for a bigger proportion of their total marketing outlays this year than was the case last year.

This trend reflects an increasing emphasis on getting quantifiable results. One part of the survey asked respondents to use a scale from 1 to 10 to indicate whether they agree or disagree with some statements (with 1 denoting "total disagreement" and 10 showing "total agreement"). Respondents gave an average score of 7.9 to "There is greater pressure to demonstrate accountability and return on marketing investments." And they gave an average score of 6.1 to "There is greater push to shift marketing dollars to online programs." Elsewhere in the survey, 53 percent said they'll "choose marketing programs that are measurable." Sixty-nine percent said they'll "closely evaluate the performance of marketing programs and reduce or eliminate programs that don't perform well."


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The top three online marketing channels for the respondents' companies are online directories/Web sites, e-mail marketing using in-house lists, and search-engine optimization. More than 60 percent of those polled said they're including each of these in their marketing mix this year. Fewer than one in five said the same about blogs and podcasts.

While online efforts take a bigger share of total marketing expenditures, older media are getting pinched. The top three areas respondents identified for budget cuts were trade-magazine advertising, trade shows and printed directories.

When asked to identify their "primary marketing goal in 2009," 44 percent of respondents cited "customer acquisition." "Lead generation" was the runner-up, picked by 29 percent, followed by "customer retention" (13 percent) and "brand awareness" (11 percent).

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