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Marketing budgets remain level, but print still reigns king

According to a study released Tuesday by BDO, a significant majority of chief marketing officers claim their marketing budgets for the holiday season remain consistent compared to last year. The Retail Compass Survey found that 63 percent of CMOs said their budget was flat, compared to 55 percent in 2009.

However a smaller percentage of marketers claim their marketing budgets were less than in 2009.

"The fact that only 20 percent of retailers cite a decrease in budgets signals that they have a bit more flexibility in how they stretch their advertising and marketing spend," said Steve Ferrara, partner of retail and consumer product practice for BDO USA. "Retail CMOs' sharpening and increasing focus on social networking sites speaks to the growing popularity and effectiveness of this medium to reach consumers across demographics."

The survey also found that print remains the largest portion of businesses' holiday marketing budgets, claiming 42 percent of total holiday marketing investment. However, this number is down significantly from 2009, when it saw a 64 percent share.

As marketing budgets remain flat, companies have begun shifting their priorities around, trying new mediums and methods of promotion. Broadcast media, for example, has seen a 25 percent increase over 2009.

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