The Australian Interactive Media Industry Association (AIMIA), in conjunction with Hyro Limited and IBM Australia, has announced its release the 2009 AIMIA Digital Services Index Online Survey Report.

The report features feedback from a cross-section of the Australian business community with 145 organisations of all sizes, from a range of industries across the country on Australian Digital Services.

According to the report, data gathered supports the digital sector’s claims that “digital is less susceptible to the economic downturn” and that “organisations are increasing their total spend and share of spend on digital”.

Across all respondents, 54% expect to increase the share of their total advertising spend they allocate to digital, while a total of 88% will either increase or leave their allocation to digital unchanged.

This correlates with the finding that 55% of all respondents expect to increase their spend on digital in absolute terms.

Also included in the findings:

  • Despite prevailing economic conditions, most companies intend to increase their level of investment in digital during 2009
  • More than half (54%) of companies surveyed said they would increase the share of their total marketing spend allocated to digital in 2009
  • 68% expect the level of revenue from digital to increase in 2009, while 87% expect customer engagement via digital channels to increase, and
  • Of all commercial and government respondents, 44% spend less than 10% of their total advertising budgets online and almost 60% spend less than 20%.

For organisations with more than $100m in revenue, these figures show that under investment is widespread – the report, with 54% spending under 10% of their marketing budgets and 74% spending under 20% of their marketing budgets on digital.

These figure come despite the majority of companies expecting that both the levels of digital customer engagement (81% for organisations >$100m in revenue) and the levels of revenue delivered directly or influenced via digital channels (67% for organisations >$100m in revenue) will increase in 2009.

“It is our view that the data supports a long term, structural shift away from traditional advertising and media, significantly among mid-to-larger sized organisations to digital as a core platform for customer engagement. In short, 2009 marks the Rise of Digital,” the report indicated.

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