A survey conducted for The Internet Show Melbourne indicates Australian businesses are struggling to profitably market their business online.

According to the survey of 4,000 companies conducted by Terrapinn, nearly 50% have over $50,000 to spend on internet solutions, with 23% of those having budgets over $250,000 to spend on finding solutions to these problems but are unsure how or where to find them.

But despite having the ready funds to invest in technology (many already using online marketing systems) businesses identified ‘getting the most ROI from digital marketing strategy’ as the top challenge impacting their success.

The study also revealed that Australian SMEs found ‘search marketing strategy’, ‘building web traffic for brand awareness’, ‘email marketing, including SPAM regulations’ and ‘measuring traffic, response and ROI’ as the four major areas of concern.

Terrapinn marketing manager, Nicola McLintock, indicated that, although businesses are grappling with ROI, they are keen to add web 2.0 technologies such as social networking, blogs, wikis and rich media into future marketing plans.

“As customers consume messages in increasingly sophisticated ways we need to understand how to best use digital media to communicate with customers through their preferred channel and to have a case for future investment, or risk being left behind, said McLintock.