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When it comes to online advertising, marketers have decisions to make between what platform to use, whom to target and the kind of media they’ll use to reach them. This week, Bizo unveiled the results of an online survey of leading marketers from both businesses and leading advertising agencies that aims to show the priorities topping their list.

Display Tops Marketing Initiatives

What it found suggests that display advertising is leading the charge. More than half of the marketers surveyed indicated that they’d be spending more on display ads than they did last year. When asked to rank their three top priorities for marketing initiatives in 2011, respondents listed display first (65%), followed by mobile (60%) and SEO third (56%). Social media trailed, with only 45% of the votes.

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Why is display advertising so popular? The survey seems to suggest that display has shown the most promise over the past year with marketers indicating that display advertising benefitted them with increased site traffic, more desired actions or conversions and helped to generate qualified leads. By refining online content, advertisers are learning that display advertising can help to reach and engage business customers. As a result, they are investing their ad dollars online in an effort to use data-driven audience targeting to leverage access.

Measuring Campaign Reach Eludes Marketers

Yet, as promising as display advertising is to marketers, there are still several unknowns that continue to make online advertising tricky. Measuring campaign performance is still a challenge, for example. According to the report, 62% of marketers are using Google Analytics to measure effectiveness. But what they really want to know goes beyond GA --  identifying who is visiting their site. Most marketers (89%) said that understanding the precise audience segments visiting their website and those segments’ activity on the site is important to determining and optimizing their overall marketing strategy.

In lieu of effective and reliable customer measurement and analysis, marketers are turning to display advertising to help them get the most of the investment.