‘Follow the money’ is a common refrain in detective flicks, and if we do the same we can get a great idea of how the Australian finance marketing landscape is changing.
Each year in the Yell Finance Marketing Survey, we ask Australian financial marketers where they are spending their budget, as a barometer to help us understand their priorities and plans for the upcoming 12 months.
First, the good news. Not many budgets are decreasing.
The headline here is that, for most people, budgets aren’t increasing. Nearly 60% will have the same or less budget.
The good news is that only a small proportion (13%) of respondents have less budget next year. It’s these marketers in particular that are the ones that need to be smart with their spend – they can’t continue as they are. Instead, they need to ensure that they concentrate their efforts on the activities that are going to move the needle the most.
45% of respondents answered that they will receive the same budget as this year, and on paper this seems positive. However, with inflation and the ever- increasing number of channels, this could be seen as a decrease in real terms.
The lucky ones are the 41% of respondents whose marketing budgets will increase next year. The key question is where will they be spending their windfall?
Active channels continue to see an increase in spend
As with previous years, the key trend is for ‘active’ channels to be a core area of investment. Websites, paid and organic search, social, email marketing and digital display will all see significant increases.
CX is a new entry into the survey this year, but a huge 60% of people answering that they were increasing their investment.
On the flipside are traditional ‘passive’ channels, including TV, radio and print. A huge proportion of our respondents don’t use them and only a small proportion are increasing their spend. TV and print advertising will see a net reduction in spend, which is indicative of an ongoing decline in those channels.
Content remains the area where the highest percentage of marketers are increasing their spend. In fact, the 77% of respondents increasing their investment is the largest increase in any one area that we’ve recorded in any of our annual surveys.
Supporting that change this year, we’re seeing an increase in focus on the areas complimentary to content. Core digital channels and activities, including website, SEO, email marketing, CX and search are all part of the content ecosystem and see big increases this year.
While the increase in ‘active’, digital marketing channels has been a trend for the last couple of years, it feels that we might be heading towards a tipping point where we have moved away from advertising (‘tell’), towards demonstrating value and expertise through content and ongoing audience engagement (‘show’).