Although the increase in investment on digital advertising was expected, plans of agencies and brand marketers to increase spending on earned media have come as a surprise. In a recent survey, the society of Digital Agencies (SoDA) and AnswerLab tried to find out change in spending on paid and unpaid media by agencies and brand marketers.
According to the results of the survey, 14 percent agencies and 8 percent brand marketers plan to increase investments on paid digital media significantly, while 24 percent agencies and 15 percent brand marketers plan significant increase in earned media investment. Although unpaid, this media involves costs like use of agency resources and staff time. Plans to increase spending on this media indicate its growing importance for marketers. As consumers consider unpaid media more credible than paid advertising, both agencies and marketers plan to take advantage of this.
The digital marketing tactics preferred by agencies and brand marketers for increased investments differ. Majority of agencies, 77 percent, plan to invest more on social networks and applications. The second most popular digital marketing tactic among agencies was digital brand experiences, with 71 percent agencies planning to increase investment on it. These were followed by tactics like mobile, digital infrastructure, search optimization, digital advertising, viral/social media campaigns, email marketing, blogger outreach and games, with 70, 61, 59, 56, 52, 47, 44 and 35 percent agencies respectively planning to increase investments on these.
Among brand marketers, emails marketing and digital infrastructure were quoted as the preferred areas for increased investments by 70 percent of the survey respondents. In any case, both agencies and brand marketers understand the growing importance of earned advertising for effective internet marketing.