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Where are digital marketing dollars being spent?

April 20th, 2012 · 20 Comments · Media, Trends, Web/Tech

Wondering where people are expending their efforts (and money) when it comes to digital marketing?

Take a look at this chart — it’s pretty telling. (This chart is part of the 2012 edition of The SoDA Report, from the Society of Digital Agencies.  More on the SoDa Report here.)

As you can see, when marketing decision makers were asked (in the where they were going to focus their attention, in terms of earned and owned media — they had some very definite opinions, with Word of Mouth and Blogger Outreach topping the charts.

Those surveyed said that they were continuing to shift their spending from traditional, expensive tactics toward digital—especially earned media —though it’s rarely a one-to-one exchange. According to the SoDA Report, a dollar or euro lost from TV and print budgets becomes 20 cents of digital.

While only 22% of client marketers are forecasting increases in traditional media spends in 2012, 50% projected an increase in paid digital media and two thirds say they expect to increase earned digital media efforts this year.

How do their answers align with what you’re doing at your place?


20 Comments so far ↓

  • Andy @ FirstFound

    Word of mouth’s always smart – and it’s how social media marketing should work.

    Great word of mouth has worked for businesses for hundreds of years. It’ll work for the forseeable future, regardless of technology.

  • John @ Universal Remotes

    I love the separation and the defining of the two aspects. The marriage of the two is what truly leads to a powerhouse presence in my opinion.

  • Kiran

    Great blog. I can agree with the content since the marketing shift does seem to be more digital focused. At our company it’s apparent that a big chunk of our marketing relies on social channels and emails however word of mouth is a BIG help when it comes to closing deals.

  • Roxanne

    Hi there Drew, it all makes sense now. So this is how the system goes, very informative and glad to read this one. Thank you very much!
    Roxanne recently posted..The Broshe GroupMy Profile

  • Shane

    Yes I really do agree with WOM ( word of mouth ), it is definitely one of the effective ways. But for you, which is really the most effective marketing strategy? Thanks for this interesting article of yours.

    • Drew McLellan


      I have a hard time thinking that any strategy is better than blogging. (If done well) I think it positions you as an expert, it creates a community who likes/supports your work and it has significant impact on the search engines.


  • Kazsandra

    This is actually the fist time I have heard about digital marketing but I think this looks perfect for my business and looks just simple..

  • Arvind

    Hi Drew, quite an informative post, bringing out the clear picture of how and where brands are spending in recent times.

  • Amy

    There is a big push for blogging which we are focusing on. We still need to get more into online videos though: vimeo and youtube. Here we come!

  • Brian Satterlee

    We have a pretty small advertising budget and mostly we’re spending on print media. Online we do whatever we can to get eyeballs, without spending money. There are so many free ways to advertise online that only take time, and I have more time than money right now.

    • Drew McLellan


      There’s nothing wrong with free. But, no matter what tactics/tools your using — you need an overall strategy that drives what you do when. Otherwise, it’s just a lot of flapping around in the water.


  • Bastian @ Tek Panel

    It’s info graphics like these that make me want to read more and improve our online persona. Nice job Drew.

  • Zoe Alexander

    Drew, in times of recession and austerity, options to move marketing into free media are critical if a start up business is going to survive its 1st year. The harsh reality for many of us is that we are forced to take the low cost or free route just to make ends meet. We focus on website, blogs and social media and avoid the more traditional expensive media advertising/marketing packages!

    • Drew McLellan


      If it was tough times driving us to digital solutions — do you predict a return to the more traditional media as things get better?

      I think the economics are certainly part of the equation, but I think the evolution to consumer created content is also driving the current trends, don’t you?


  • Mary

    Hi Drew, I really like your blog and have been following your posts for a while. Currently I am working on a brochure for a company, and might need part of the information in the chart above. I look it up on SoDA.com and trying to find terms of its resource from its reports. If you can provide more information, that would be very appreciated!

    • Drew McLellan

      Hi Mary,

      Thanks for your kind words. Here’s a link that will take you to a 96 slide presentation on the report. I’m guessing you will find what you need there.



      • Mary

        Hi Drew, thank you for the information.
        I need the chart of 2012 Media Trend in the report, but I can’t find the source of the chart. Can we use the the chart in other marketing materials? Thanks!

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