Hawke’s Bay businesses will increase their online marketing activity significantly over the next twelve months, according to a digital marketing survey Mogul conducted in September 2010.

Whereas currently 44% of participating organisations allocate 10% or less of their budget to the online space, 62% of respondents felt that online marketing would make up more than 50% of total marketing spend within two years.

Of those surveyed, 91% have a corporate website, well above the national average of 34% and an indication that those who participated in the research comprise a more tech-savvy segment. However, though 55% of respondents send out email newsletters, use of other online marketing tools is still limited: 37% have a corporate Facebook page, 25% a corporate blog and 24% a corporate Twitter account.

Respondents indicate that use of email newsletters, corporate blogs, corporate Facebook pages and Twitter accounts will increase by between 30% and 47% over the next twelve months. This appears to be driven by the perceived ability of online marketing to build and maintain relationships more effectively than traditional marketing tools. In addition, more than half of respondents feel that online marketing will be the most important factor in growing their organisation.

The findings confirm trends that we have seen emerge over the previous two years.
More and more businesses are discovering the ability of online marketing tools such as Facebook and Twitter to develop direct relationships with customers and enhance brand reputation.We’re really excited about helping such firms to get the most out of these tools, while they can get on with their core business.

The survey showed that 88% of respondents feel that Hawke’s Bay businesses are failing to use these relatively unfamiliar tools to their full potential. It’s our mission here at Mogul to ensure that Hawke’s Bay punches above its weight in the digital arena, and we are excited that the survey indicates that local businesses share our vision.

The survey achieved a sample size of n=140 businesses, with a margin of error of 8.25% at a confidence level of 95%, based on an estimated total number of geographic business units in the Hawke’s Bay region of 18,172 (source: Statistics New Zealand 2006 Census).

Big thanks to Jim Poppelwell at Canal Limited, who provided direction on survey design, analysis and reporting. Check them out at http://www.canal.co.nz.