The Pearlfinders UK Index, tracks interview topics from over 5,000 conversations with marketing decision makers in the U.K. said that in Q3 2010, one in three marketing budget holders were considering digital services. In contrast to their Q2 findings, mobile was firmly back on the agenda for Q3, inspired by Google's Eric Schmidt's keynote speech in which he urged companies to be "mobile first". Areas of interest included, mobile search, geolocation and iPhone optimisation.
The launch of the iPhone 4, kept conversations focused on Apple rather than other smartphone makers. Mobile search and SEO also grew as an area of focus, with 15% of decision-makers identifying it as an area for attention (+2.5).
Digital plans for brand spending focus on:
- Mobile (45.2%)
- Social media (41.3%)
- Website development (27.1%)
- Search (15.8%)
- Ecommerce (12.9%)
Social media was not afforded it's own campaign focus, being seen instead as an assumed element of an overall digital strategy. With most brands having established a social media presence, the strategic change was to focus on conversion rather than continue a race for followers.
Facebook and Twitter continued to be the most frequently mentioned social media platform but, of the marketers surveyed, share of interest was being lost to Foursquare and Youtube.
The report concluded that whilst prospects for digital agencies in the UK have remained strong throughout 2010, digital agencies need to be careful not to lose influence in the social media arena to PR, branding and advertising agencies. Confusion over who is best placed to deliver the social media function of brands needs to be addressed by digital agencies in order to maintain a position as 'thought leader', or risk becoming an 'extra pair of hands'.