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Marketers are spending more on digital marketing, but are they spending effectively?

5th April 2013

It looks like 2013 is set to be a good year for social media. According to the latest Digital Influence Report by integrated online media company Technorati Media, the majority (60 per cent) of brand marketers predict an average increase of 40 per cent in social spend for 2013.

Looking at how marketers allocate their digital budgets, most of it goes on display advertising, search and video. Social media spend takes up just 10 per cent of the budget, and more than half of this goes to Facebook. More than 90 per cent of brands surveyed stated they have a presence on Facebook. It’s nearly as high for Twitter (85 per cent) and You Tube (73 per cent). Google+ wasn’t as popular with brands, with only 26 per cent of brand managers reporting a presence on that service.

Where brands are social

Source:  Digital Influence Report, Technorati

Although just 11 per cent of social spend is dedicated to blogs and influencers, Technorati Media CEO Shani Higgins says that blogs and influencers “rank high with consumers for trust, popularity and influence.” Higgins emphasises the importance of blogs when it comes to consumers making decisions about what they buy: “When making overall purchase decisions, for consumers, blogs trail only behind retail and brand sites. With regard to overall sources for information on the internet, blogs rank among the top five ‘most trustworthy’ sources. As an example, according to consumers, blogs are more influential in shaping opinion than Twitter, and when it comes to affecting purchase decisions, more important than Facebook.”

Digital Budget breakdown                                                        Social Budget Breakdown

Source: Digital Influence Report, Technorati

In conclusion, Higgins thinks brands’ spending is not properly aligned with how and where consumers are seeing value and being influenced. Shani says: “This has much to do with an essential hurdle faced by most content creators: a lack of metrics and the fragmentation that leads to their complexity as a purchasable medium.”

So if PROs wish to devote their energies most effectively to influencing key audiences through digital media, they must spend time doing research. There is no doubt that Facebook is powerful, but when it comes to encouraging consumers to buy, it may make more sense to focus on bloggers and influencers.


The 2013 Technorati Media Digital Influence Report is culled from surveys that included over 6,000 influencers, 1,200 consumers and 150 top brand marketers. The surveys were conducted in November and December 2012, closing between Dec. 5-11, 2012. The consumer survey was run on the Appnexus exchange (reach of approximately 120 million), and responses from those under 18 were omitted from the final results. The Influencer Survey was sent to Technorati Media’s index of 2.5 million email addresses of influencers, and the responses cross referenced with the Technorati Authority index to insure a representative sample of the total influencer population. The brand survey was sent to account and media supervisors and planners at the top digital agencies as well as the digital marketing leads at Fortune 1,000 companies in the US Technorati Media supports the Word of Mouth Marketing Association’s definition of an influencer: “A person who has a greater than average reach or impact through word of mouth in a relevant marketplace.”

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