Marketers may finally believe that the economy is on  the road to recovery. Industry analysts say that for the first time in several years marketers have shifted their top strategy. Instead of trying to maintain existing customers, a hallmark of the recession, marketers are now trying to win new customers.

In addition to signing on new clients, marketing organizations taking part in the Kern Organization’s 2011 MidYear Trend Study say the following trends are most important in the industry for the rest of the year:

  • Better integration of online and offline data collection and analytics: 90%
  • Aligning sales and marketing: 84%
  • Being prepared to operate in the new era of constant change: 53%
  • Now using marketing automation: 48%
  • Allocating at least 25% of marketing budgets to external agencies: 43%

Analysts note that the numbers of organizations using marketing automation is growing quickly and is likely linked to the need to manage data collection and analytics.

Steven Woods, CTO, Eloqua, Author of “Digital Body Language” says, “Far from being a cost center, today’s best marketing organizations provide both long term visibility into revenue results and short term ability to identify and impact the factors that can most improve revenue performance in the short term.” The Kern study included organizations of all sizes, from enterprises with revenue under $100 million to those with revenue in excess of $1 billion and tapped companies from multiple industries.

The bottom line from the survey is that “data analysis plays an integral role in providing the transparency and visibility essential to marketing organizations for accountability to budget and to demonstrate the beneficial results of marketing initiatives.” The data analysis will also help marketing organizations determine the best way to win new clients.

[Source: 2011 Mid-Year Marketing Trends. Kern Organization. 27 Sep. 2011. Web. 5 Oct. 2011]