Marketing Communications mix program
Every survey respondent is involved in some aspect of senior management, marketing, marketing communications, or sales and focuses on selling products and services to a variety of industries from basic research, healthcare (pharmaceutical, biotechnology, diagnostics, hospitals), manufacturing (chemical, petrochemicals, food, energy), and testing (environmental, forensics, agriculture, defense).
As expected with a sample set representing a wide range of company sizes, annual marketing budgets from our respondents ranged from less than $100, 000 to over $10, 000, 000. The full distribution of budgets can be seen in Figure 3.
Funding the Marketing Mix
The companies surveyed employ multiple channels in their marketing programs, ranging from traditional to new media. Figure 4 illustrates the budget allocation for each channel based on the responses we received.
Several trends are apparent in reviewing the data in Figure 4. First, companies tend to stretch their budgets across many channels, funding each with a small portion of their total budget, instead of focusing efforts on a few programs.
One would expect that lower revenue companies would participate in far fewer channels than larger companies. To investigate this hypothesis, we segmented the budget allocation data by the company sizes. Figure 5 illustrates that there is little variability between the budget allocations of companies of different revenue sizes. In other words, companies of any size tend to stretch their marketing budgets across a wide array of different channels.
The second trend that emerged from the budget allocation data illustrates that companies are still heavily investing in traditional marketing channels, despite popular belief that marketing programs are migrating online. Tradeshow participation, print advertising, and print collateral combined, garner the biggest share of our respondents’ budgets, with online advertising ranking fourth. This was true regardless of company size.
In addition to asking our respondents about their current marketing investments, we also collected data on intended future marketing activities. Because the survey data was collected between October and November 2008—as the recession was impacting business across the board—this look ahead represents in some part our respondents’ reaction to the current economic climate.
Just as we did with the current activities, we asked marketers to indicate how they intended to distribute their marketing budgets for the coming year. Figure 6 illustrates the changes in budget allocation for each channel between 2008 and 2009.
It is interesting to note that Figure 6 shows our respondents’ intent to cut back on many of the traditional marketing channels such as tradeshows, advertising and public relations. But overall, our respondents plan to invest more than they plan to cut, with online advertising and interactive product demonstrations taking the lead in budget gains. This supports the online migration that we previously discussed.
Also, roughly 1/3 of our respondents are planning to increase funding for “other” activities. In an open-ended question, we asked respondents to specify their “other” activities. The most frequent activities included:
Promotional items and giveaways
- Seminars, workshops, road shows and events
- Collaborations and thought-leader cultivation
- Direct mail
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