Spending on digital marketing will reach record levels in 2015, with 77% of companies planning to increase their budgets during the coming year, according to the sixth annual 'Marketing Budgets Report' from Econsultancy and Oracle Marketing Cloud. This article is copyright 2015 The Best Customer Guide.

The study found that 8% more companies in 2015 than in 2014 were planning to ramp up their digital marketing investment, and that 79% of companies are planning to increase their spending specifically on digital marketing technology, another record high since the research was launched in 2010.

The research found that paid-for media gets 39% of overall digital marketing budgets, compared to 35% for 'owned media' (i.e. companies' own digital properties and content) and 26% for 'earned media' (social media).

However, more companies are increasing their earned and owned media budgets this year (71% and 67% respectively) than they are for paid media (61%).

Content marketing continues to be the most buoyant channel in terms of where organisations are most likely to say they will be increasing budgets. Just under three-quarters (73%) of responding companies said they would be increasing this budget in 2015, marginally down from 74% a year ago.

Content marketing now commands 10% of digital marketing budgets, second only to paid search with 13%.

"Companies are more committed than ever to their digital marketing activities, with a growing appetite for paid-for advertising, earned media and investment in their own web properties. Investment in digital marketing technology is also buoyant, with marketers seeking to ensure that they have the right tools for acquisition, retention and engagement programmes," said Econsultancy's Research Director, Linus Gregoriadis.

Other key findings from the report included:

  • Marketers are getting better at securing buy-in and financial support from the C-suite. Just under three-quarters (72%) of companies surveyed say that it has become easier to secure boardroom buy-in for increased digital marketing budgets, up from 64% in 2014.
  • The propensity for companies to be more heavily focused toward marketing for new customers (rather than trying to keep existing ones) continues in 2015, with acquisition up from 34% in 2014 to 38% this year (as a stronger focus of investment).
  • Investment in Data Management Platforms is set to surge. The proportion of organisations that plan to increase investment in DMPs has doubled in the last 12 months.
  • Nearly three quarters (74%) of the companies surveyed either agree or strongly agree that they are working toward delivering cohesive customer experiences, rather than standalone campaigns or interactions. Compared to 2014, companies are 35% more likely to increase their budgets for cross-channel / multichannel campaign management technology.

The full report is available for purchase from the Econsultancy web site - click here.