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Business Investment in Digital Marketing

business investmentA new survey of how businesses plan to invest in digital marketing finds that more than half of respondents will boost their spending on social media marketing and websites in the coming year. The Manifest surveyed 501 digital marketers from businesses across the U.S. to learn how they invest in digital marketing and how their investments will change in the next year.

The projected increases are part of a nearly universal trend by businesses to raise their digital presence. Some 99 percent of business plan to increase their investment in at least one digital marketing channel in the next year, according to the survey.


Which Digital Marketing Channels Will Businesses Invest in More (or Less)?

Among the survey respondents, 64 percent said they plan to increase the time and money they spend on social media, while 55 percent expect to increase their website investment.


At the same time, some digital marketing channels will likely see a drop-off, including display/banner advertisements and paid search advertisements, with planned reductions of 19 percent for the former and 18 percent for the latter, according to survey respondents.


Businesses do not put as much value on these channels as they did in the past because they can be expensive, and the results are difficult to measure.

How Much Businesses Spend on Digital Marketing

More than four-fifths of businesses (81%) spend at least $50,000 on digital marketing each year, and 41% spend at least $500,000, according to the survey.


Nearly half of companies (42 percent) surveyed spend more than half of their marketing budget on digital marketing, including 8 percent that spend anywhere from three-quarters to 100 percent of their budget on digital marketing, and another 34 percent that spend between half to three-quarters of their budget on digital marketing.


The largest bloc – 38 percent of respondents—spend between a quarter to one-half of their marketing budget on digital marketing.

Outsourcing Digital Marketing

Businesses use a variety of resources for help with their digital marketing efforts, including in-house staff (69%), software (59%), a digital marketing agency (50%), and a freelancer/consultant (32%).


Nearly one-third of businesses (32%) that do not presently use a digital marketing agency and/or a freelancer/consultant plan to outsource at least some of their digital marketing work in the next year. Some businesses believe that an outside perspective can be useful in bringing new ideas to a company’s digital marketing.


The Manifest survey was comprised of businesses with more than 100 employees. About 39% of the companies had a 2017 revenue of more than $500 million, 32 percent had revenues of $50 million to $500 million, and 29 percent had less than $50 million.

Kristen is a content writer and marketer at The Manifest, a business news and how-to website in the heart of Washington, D.C. Connect with her on LinkedIn, or reach out with any questions, comments, or concerns at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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