Recently, Digiday asked agencies where their clients are cutting back in respect to digital marketing. Many of them side-stepped the question and focused on where clients are increasing spend, but there were a few interesting–and pervasive–points.

1. A mobile focus

Almost all of the agencies at least mentioned the client’s interest in expanding their mobile offerings. One agency expressed that in order to do this, some of their clients were pulling back the reigns on email marketing and using the extra budget to apply to mobile. It seems that people have been paying attention to all of the attention mobile marketing has been garnering.

Why it’s important: Indeed, mobile is here to stay and tablets are a large part of that. It took almost a decade for households to begin acquiring more than one PC or cell phone. Just three years after the iPad was introduced, multi-tablet households are quickly becoming a reality. Secondly, mobile is good for large corporations and small businesses alike because local is a large component to mobile. With location-based apps becoming the norm, consumers have the ability to find the goods or services they’re looking for within a certain radius by doing a quick smartphone search. Additionally, 42% of Americans now own a smartphone and smartphone web browsing is supposed to overtake desktop browsing by 2014.

2. Integration

As Jason Wadler from LeapFrog put it, “consumers are not online or offline; they’re everywhere.” That is why integrating online and offline efforts to create a seamless consumer experience is a top priority for brands going into the new year.

Why it’s important: Big Data has a reputation for being an obstacle instead of an opportunity. However, Big Data can mean a lot of information, which can be mined and implemented in order to create a more personalized and seamless consumer experience both on and offline. A great way to integrate online + offline marketing initiatives is through social media, since this is where most people are currently present. The issue? 75% of B2B companies do not measure or quantify social media engagement (via Satmetrix). Therefore, marketers have to rise to the challenge of implementing measurement systems that allow the client to see the exact impact of campaigns. Gone are the days where reports were filled with convenience metrics like community growth.

3. Tactics emphasizing accountability

Whether it was social, mobile or local marketing, it was evident throughout the agency responses that clients want more granular campaigns with accurate ways to measure the performance and impact on their businesses. Gone are the days when companies wanted to measure with obscurities like “brand awareness.” They want hard numbers associated with all of their marketing initiatives… and who can blame them?

Why it’s important: Let’s face it. Marketers have not been held accountable for their marketing channels. Sure, paid search campaigns make it easy to generate a hard number ROI, but what about things like SEO, local, mobile and social media marketing? These things have made it significantly more difficult to measure sales + leads generated. However, it’s not impossible. Now that CMO/CEOs have realized it’s not impossible, they are being smarter about investing their time and money into initiatives that are able to be adequately measured and thus, optimized. I think it is a positive move forward as our industry becomes more adept at putting their money where their mouth is.

Accountability is something we often discuss on this blog, and that’s because we find it profoundly important. The above trends in digital marketing are being led by upper management in companies and I believe that they are on the right track. We are looking forward to seeing how it pans out as the year continues.