Thanks to digital transformation, social media, blogs, and mobile marketing are playing an increasingly important role in modern marketing. The new Dexperty study “Digital Business Transformation” highlights what’s currently keeping marketing experts busy and where the trend is headed.
Digital is accounting for an increasing portion of the budget each year: Today up to 20 percent of marketing budgets are used for digital measures in at least 64 percent of those polled, while over 25 percent of the companies even allocate more than 20 percent. The larger the company, the higher the share of digital marketing in the overall budget. In the ITC industry, which is exemplary when it comes to digital marketing, around 30 percent of the budgets were allocated to digital measures in the past year according to a Bitkom study, and thus took second place behind the trade fair / event budgets.
On the whole, digital transformation is continually moving forward in marketing as well due to the increasing amount of budgets being allocated to this topic. The specific activities vary widely and many marketing departments are still in the beginning stages. None of the impacts of digitalization on a company’s marketing included in the survey was seen by more than 40 percent of the companies and medium-sized businesses are clearly lagging behind in this regard as well.
Only about one-third of the companies has a strategy or is working on new solutions together with partners or customers. About one-quarter of the respondents rely on the external expertise of consultants. Just as few have additional budgets for digital marketing. Just under one-fifth has set up strategic projects and a task force is active only at 20 percent of the larger companies. In smaller companies, a quarter of those surveyed even felt no impact at all of digitization on marketing.
The respondents see websites, dialogue marketing, trade fairs, print media and public relations as the most important factors for marketing success, whereas social media, blogs, and mobile marketing are quickly catching up. At over 40 percent, the mobile web, SEO/SEM and analytics are considered part of the toolkit along with content and database marketing. Just as many have digitalized their entire customer interface and are using big data for product and service improvements
Despite a significant increase in budgets for digital marketing tools, there is no paradigm shift looming when it comes to trade fair engagement. Trade fairs have remained highly relevant overall. 67 percent of the respondents indicated that their company is taking part in trade fairs. More than 70 percent of the marketing decision-makers use dialogue marketing and PR for this, which most of them also see as the most important tools. Onsite advertising on the trade fair grounds, social media activities and a year-round presence on the trade fair organizers’ online platforms are considered important for the success of the fair by just over 50 percent of the respondents. And conventional print advertising is also at the same level.
“Trade fairs have maintained their leading role in the marketing mix of many companies especially in the industrial sector”, says Klaus Reinke, Chief of Corporate Strategy & Organisation and
member of the Management Board at Messe Frankfurt. “But trade fair marketing is also increasingly multifaceted. The share of digital activities already accounts for over 10 percent of the trade fair budget for a clear majority of respondents.”
Aside from the research, it is obvious that digital communication has been on the rise in combination with trade fairs over the past ten years. Mobile apps, digital catalogues, and multimedia content in general are the future of trade fair marketing. The Dexperty study “communication in the trade fair environment” conducted last year already indicated rapid progress in the area of digital development. After all, 70 percent of the respondents use up to 20 percent of their trade fair budgets for digital activities and one in five allocated even more.