Each quarter, the analysts at UK-based Pearlfinders report on the buying intentions of more than 4,000 North American marketing executives. In their most recent report, the Pearlfinders Index Q2 2012 (free download, no registration required), the company offers detailed insight on trends and patterns across a wide spectrum of marketing services. Whereas the data is primarily aimed at marketing agencies (the firm’s primary clients), the report provides useful data that can also help marketing teams make budgeting decisions for the rest of 2012.
Here are what I found to be the most interesting highlights:
• The most common projects being undertaken in the technology sector in Q2 were (in order) content creation, social media, and mobile site development.
• Customer acquisition moved squarely to the forefront of marketing objectives, with more than 90 percent of marketing execs reporting it as their primary goal, an increase from 70 percent a year earlier. Customer retention and development lagged far behind. Customer acquisition was the main catalyst for 62% of advertising investments in Q2.
• The “hottest” service category being considered by marketing execs in Q2 2012 was digital marketing (19%), followed closely by social media (17%) and PR (14%).
• Marketers are conducting fewer formal agency reviews in general, preferring to hire additional, specialist agencies on an adhoc, project basis as needs arise.
You can download a complete copy of the Q2 Pearlfinders Index here.