Last month, Eloqua released our 2008 "State of the Marketer" survey to uncover marketers' views of the industry today and take the temperature of our fellow marketers.
We spoke to nearly 200 U.S. marketers at companies ranging in size from $10 to $500 million in revenue, hailing from industries spanning business and professional services, high technology, manufacturing, retail and hospitality.
Good news: Despite the sagging economy, the survey results indicate that marketers have a positive outlook on their contributions to their companies' success, and plan to significantly increase their budgets in the next three years as well as increase their staffs.
Marketing spending trends
We asked: Compared to three years ago, how has your spending for the following marketing media changed (print advertising, online advertising, Google AdWords, broadcast advertising, direct mail, email, social media, texting/SMS)?
They said: There will be more online advertising growth than expected -- More than 40 percent of respondents said they have radically increased their spend in online advertising, indicating that online advertising is their most increased expenditure out of all marketing media. But only 23 percent said they have increased their Google AdWords spend.
Texting/SMS spend is a lot less hot than anticipated -- Spend has stayed the same, according to 60 percent of respondents.
Direct email isn't dead -- More people have increased spend on email over the last year (26 percent) than on Google AdWords (23 percent).
Traditional channels stagnant -- Print advertising, direct mail and broadcast spend stayed the same.
We asked: Overall, by what percentage has your marketing budget increased or decreased in the last three years (increased by more than 50 percent; 25 to 49 percent; 10 to 24 percent; 1 to 9 percent; stayed the same; decreased by 1 to 9 percent; 10 to 24 percent; 25 to 49 percent; more than 50 percent)?
They responded: Marketing budgets have increased over the past three years -- Respondents indicate that 72 percent of them have an increased marketing budget with nearly 50 percent increased by more than 10 percent, and 11 percent increased by more than 50 percent.
We asked: How effective are the marketing programs you run today compared to the marketing programs you ran three years ago (more effective; equally effective; less effective)?
They said: Marketers are getting more effective -- Sixty-four percent of marketers said they feel that their marketing programs are more effective today vs. three years ago.
Marketers' views of media
We asked: How important do you believe Second Life or other virtual marketing media will be to your marketing campaigns (very important; important; not important)?
They said: Not so important -- More than half (52 percent) of the marketers said they feel that Second Life or virtual marketing media are not important.
We asked: Have you yourself ever responded to an unsolicited email (yes; no)? Have you yourself ever responded to an unsolicited direct mail piece (yes; no)?
Marketers feel that direct mail still works -- Sixty-four percent of marketers have responded to unsolicited direct mail vs. 49 percent who have responded to an unsolicited email.
We asked: Have you yourself ever responded to an unsolicited text message on your cell phone (yes; no)?
They said: Marketers aren't always supportive personally of the campaigns they use -- Although 93 percent said they have never responded to an unsolicited text message, 65 percent will increase their spend on SMS over the next three years.
Dealing with industry issues
We asked: Over the next three years, do you plan to increase or decrease your marketing staff (increase by more than 50 percent; 25 to 49 percent; 10 to 24 percent; 1 to 9 percent; same; decrease by 1 to 9 percent; 10 to 24 percent; 25 to 49 percent; more than 50 percent)?
They said: 95 percent of them will maintain or increase their marketing staff over the next three years, with nearly 30 percent expecting their staff to grow by double digits over the next three years.
We asked: How would you characterize the relationship between the sales and marketing departments in your organization (terrible; ok; excellent)? Over the last three years, how has the relationship between sales and marketing departments changed in your organization (gotten better; stayed the same; gotten worse)?
They answered: Sales and marketing are finally bridging the divide -- More than 90 percent of the people surveyed said that the relationship between sales and marketing departments is okay or excellent.
This good relationship is a fairly new thing -- In just the past three years, 54 percent have seen the improvement in the relationship.
We asked: As a marketer, how has the pressure on you to account for results changed in the last three years (greatly increased; increased; stayed the same; decreased; greatly decreased)?
They said: The pressure is growing -- No one said that the pressure has decreased; 86 percent of the people said that the pressure has increased on them to account for results.
We asked: Does your organization have a way to quantify the contribution of marketing to the bottom line (yes; no)?
They replied: Marketing is accountable -- According to the respondents, 68 percent of organizations are measuring the quantifiable contribution of marketing to the bottom line.
When the company has a bad quarter, who shoulders more of the blame (marketing; sales; equal)?
Sales and marketing are starting to share the blame -- More than half (58 percent) said they feel the blame is shared equally.
It's good to be a marketer
We asked: How does the senior management team of your company value marketing (a lot; some; very little; not at all)?
They said: Marketers feel valued -- The respondents claimed that 91 percent of them feel valued by senior management (57 percent a lot; 34 percent some).
We asked: If you could turn the clock back to college graduation, would you still go into marketing (yes; no)?
They said: Most marketers enjoy their jobs -- A whopping 74 percent say they would reenter the field.