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More than two-thirds (67%) of advertising, marketing and media executives say that online video is a primary focus of their 2009 digital marketing campaigns, and expect to increasingly migrate from planning and experimentation with the medium to widespread implementation this year, according to a recent survey by PermissionTV.

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The study, which was conducted among 400 senior-level decision makers, identified online video as the top priority for digital marketing budgets, ahead of social media campaigns (41%), search (34 %) and podcasts/webcasts (32%).

It also revealed a strong preference among marketers for increased sophistication and interactivity in online video capabilities to help promote their brands.

Key survey highlights:

  • In Q2 2009, more than half (52%) of respondents expect to be implementing or extending an online video project, whereas currently less than one-third (32%) are doing so.
  • Nearly 60% of respondents consider interactive video experiences to be the next evolution for online video. Also, 62% believe that non-linear, interactive storytelling will become the most effective medium for marketers. Links to other videos is the most widely needed interactive capability for respondents, followed by graphic overlays, user comments and user-defined contents paths.
  • One third (33%) of respondents expect their 2009 digital marketing efforts to be least affected by budget cuts, followed by traditional marketing (24% ), trade shows (21%) and guerilla marketing (14%).

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  • A majority of respondents (63%) are most likely to invest in a branded content/video destination next year. Viral video (39%) and interactive experiences (38%) follow as the second and third priority, while only 22% plan to invest in simple syndication.

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  • When asked how online video will enhance customer engagement, a vast majority (71%) state it would help build brand awareness.

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  • Driving lead generation was the second largest objective (47%), followed by enhancing loyalty/retention programs (44%) and converting customers (41%).
  • Nearly two thirds (64%) of respondents reported that strengthening relationships with existing customers and/or prospects is the primary goal of online video initiatives.

“As corporate and brand marketers look to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of digital marketing initiatives, online video will play an increasingly critical role in all interactive campaigns,” said Matt Kaplan, VP of Solutions and chief strategy officer of PermissionTV. “These survey results demonstrate the strategic importance of online video in the overall marketing mix, as well a growing requirement for more sophisticated video experiences.”

Additional findings regarding online video and agencies:

  • When focusing on respondents from traditional and digital/interactive advertising agencies, more than 90% are overwhelmingly confident in their ability to recommend online video initiatives to clients.
  • Digital/interactive agencies expressed more confidence in recommending online video to clients compared with traditional agencies. However,? traditional agencies claim more responsibility for driving online video initiatives than digital/interactive agencies.

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