StrongMail Marketing Trends Survey Reveals Positive Economic Outlook for 2011

Email marketing and social media are top areas of investment; Lack of resources/staff cited as top email marketing challenge
Thursday, January 6, 2011

Email marketing and social media are top areas of investment; Lack of resources/staff cited as top email marketing challenge

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--StrongMail, a leading provider of marketing solutions for email marketing and social media, today announced the results of its “2011 Marketing Trends” survey, which provides unique insight into how businesses plan to budget and prioritize marketing dollars in the New Year. Conducted in November 2010, 925 business leaders participated in the global survey.

According to the survey, half of businesses plan to increase their marketing budgets in 2011, and another 43% plan to maintain current levels. Only 7% of respondents plan to decrease marketing budgets, a significant improvement over the 11% reported in last year's survey. Despite budget increases, respondents indicated a lack of resources/staff to be the biggest email marketing challenge in 2011, representing a potential demand for outsourced marketing services. Integration with customer data and email deliverability rounded out the top three email marketing challenges for 2011.

Email and Social Media Lead the Pack; Direct Mail and Tradeshows Face Cuts

Email marketing (65%) and social media (57%) will be the top areas of investment in 2011, followed by Search (41%). Direct Mail (36%) and Tradeshows/Events (33%) are the top targets for decreased spend; however, this is a marked improvement over last year's survey, which found marketers reducing spend in these areas by 42% and 44% respectively.

Engagement and Segmentation Are Top Priorities; Facebook is King

The most important email marketing initiatives for 2011 are increasing subscriber engagement (52%), improving segmentation and targeting (49%), and integrating social media and email marketing (43%). On the latter point, a full 71% have already integrated email and social, or plan to, in 2011.

Among social media initiatives, Facebook is the biggest priority (35%), followed by viral/referral marketing programs (22%). Marketing via Twitter and implementing social media management technology tied for third place (21%). Awareness building (63%) is the primary goal for social media marketing initiatives, followed by loyalty acquisition (54%) and reaching new audiences (42%). As is the case with any new channel, social media marketing is seen as least effective at generating leads and revenue.

“As marketers head into 2011, they are focused on increasing subscriber engagement through increased relevancy and automating lifecycle communications,” said Ryan Deutsch, vice president of strategic services at StrongMail. “While it's clear that marketers are struggling with insufficient resources, this is a challenge that can be easily overcome with the right marketing partner. Our own experience helping clients improve their marketing programs corroborates this finding, as we're seeing a steady increase in demand for our strategic services.”

Survey Highlights

•93% of businesses plan to increase or maintain marketing spend in 2011
•41% of business cite lack of resources/staff as primary email marketing challenge in 2011; 41% data integration; 36% email deliverability
•52% of businesses cite increasing subscriber engagement as top 2011 email marketing initiative; 49% improving segmentation/targeting; 43% integrating email and social media
•65% of businesses plan to increase marketing budget for email; 57% social media; 41% search
•71% of businesses plan to integrate email and social media in 2011
Survey Data

Full survey data is available at:

About the Survey

The StrongMail “2011 Marketing Trends Survey” was conducted in conjunction with Zoomerang. The poll, which gathered feedback from 925 business executives in a wide range of industries, was conducted from November 18 - 29, 2010.

About StrongMail Systems, Inc.

StrongMail enables marketers to forge meaningful, profitable and long-lasting connections with their customers through email marketing and social media. With our unique combination of technology and services, StrongMail takes a fundamentally different approach that offers many distinct advantages. StrongMail's dedicated solutions offer the lowest cost of ownership of any tier-one solution and easily connect with customer data for superior relevancy and performance. Threadmarketing, StrongMail’s email and social CRM agency, provides groundbreaking strategic and creative services to help marketers listen, learn, engage and influence best customers. It's these differences that have led Fortune 2000 brands to switch to StrongMail. Learn more at, or follow us online at or

Copyright © 2010 StrongMail Systems, Inc.

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