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Most UK firms to increase or maintain 2009 marketing budgets, StrongMail

Most UK firms to increase or maintain 2009 marketing budgets, StrongMail

Marketers are surprisingly optimistic about the economy for the second half of the year, according to the June ‘2009 Marketing Trends Survey, released by StrongMail Systems.

Even in the midst of the current recession, 42 per cent of nearly 1,000 global business leaders polled by the email marketing solutions provider plan to increase marketing budgets in 2009, and an additional 43 per cent plan to maintain current levels.

Only 15 percent of polled businesses expect to see a decrease in customer sales in the second half of the year, which is a dramatic improvement over the 37 per cent who responded similarly in StrongMail's December 2008 survey, ‘2009 Marketing Outlook Survey’.

In fact, businesses currently project that 34 per cent of customers will spend more in the second half of 2009, versus only 19 per cent in the December survey, while an additional 31 per cent project that customers will spend the same.

Planned investment in email marketing has also increased, with 81 percent of businesses planning to increase budgets targeting this channel versus 73 per cent in December 2008.  Additionally, social media has emerged as a significant focus for increased investment, as reported by 58 per cent of businesses. 

Advertising and tradeshows were again singled out as the top targets for budget cuts. 78 percent of businesses decreasing budgets are targeting advertising and 58 percent are also looking at tradeshows. This represents a steep increase from the December survey results of 29 per cent and 19 per cent respectively.

Increasing email relevancy and personalisation remain top priorities for the latter half of 2009 for 77 per cent of the businesses polled. 

The top three email marketing initiatives identified for the latter half of the year reflect a desire to improve relevancy with 66 per cent of respondents looking to increase the performance of their campaigns and 52 per cent looking to improve segmentation and targeting.

Growing their opt-in list attracted the third highest response at 45 per cent.

"The fact that planned investments in email marketing have actually increased in the past six months at the expense of more traditional marketing channels speaks to email's status as the most economical and effective tool in a direct marketer's tool box," said UK managing director at StrongMail Systems, Paul Bates.

"Email marketing's ability to attract investment in touch economic times will only increase as companies leverage solutions to improve the relevancy of their messages and tap the power of social media."

AJR
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