Marketers are shifting or have already shifted to digital marketing because of flexibility, scalability, and measurable results in real-time.
The proof is there in the numbers.
A 2011 study commissioned by Social Media Examiner, an online magazine, revealed that 88 per cent of all marketers feel that social media efforts have created more exposure for their businesses with improved traffic and increased subscribers.
The study also shared that almost two-thirds of the marketers surveyed said their companies experienced a rise in search engine rankings because of social media marketing. About half of them reported social media generated qualified leads.
Digital marketing has proved to increase sales even when there was minimal time and effort investment into the marketing plan, said the study. Digital marketing strategies don't require long-term time commitment and are often more cost-effective than traditional marketing.
Many expect the trend of increased spending on digital marketing to continue. A recent study published by Duke University's Fuqua School of Business showed that by the next five years, marketers expect to spend 19.5 per cent of their budgets on social media – almost triple of what they currently spend.
A separate study by the IBM Institute for Business Value based on surveys of CMOs revealed that three areas need to be focused to improve digital marketing. They include delivering value to empower customers, creating lasting relationships with those clients and being able to measure marketing's contribution to the business in relevant terms.
The study showed that 63 per cent of survey respondents believed marketing Return on Investment (RoI) will become the most important measure of success in the next five years but only 44 per cent felt prepared to manage that heightened importance on RoI.
Marketers need to continue to adapt to the expanding use of digital marketing to keep their businesses at the forefront of advertising. Adopting digital marketing brings with it a gamut of challenges including managing loads of data, making sense of the collected data, uniformity in messaging and keeping pace with changing channels.
Lately businesses have started realising the need for comprehensive yet simplified solutions which can help navigate through the quagmire of information overload to create effective campaigns.
The author is Global Head of Infosys BrandEdge