Published: 27 July 2010 A new report from the Direct Marketing Association is to reveal that over the coming years marketing budgets will shift from traditional channels to digital ones. A move fuelled by the growing popularity of social networking sites, such as Facebook, and the user focused advertising opportunities that they present.

While direct mail is currently the top avenue for businesses, online channels are expected to surpass it within the next 12 months, relays TMCnet. Social media is the top emerging platform for many B2B firms, with 88 percent maintaining a social media presence. Professional sites, such as LinkedIn, are the most popular, followed by microblogs, including Twitter.

TMCnet quotes the DMA as saying, "these results clearly underscore the recognition that marketers see the need to experiment with new marketing channels which offer the opportunity to break through the marketing clutter with more personal and engaging messaging."

Mike Aglony, Sagittarius Digital's head of search and social marketing, confirms that many companies are looking to use social media either for direct sales or for developing brand engagement. "Social media sites are becoming an increasingly important part of people's working life as they offer a chance to network and connect with new customers, industry experts and mentors. The opportunity for companies to then raise their own brand profile through such channels is great." said Mr Aglony.

The DMA also found that 13 percent of B2B firms are investing in search marketing, supporting a recent report from Efficient Frontier. The SEM firms's most recent search engine performance report shows that ad spend on the platform was up 27 percent year-over-year and 9.7 percent quarter-over-quarter during Q2 2010.ADNFCR-1844-ID-19908410-ADNFCR

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