The new "Marketing Trends Survey" study from GlobalSpec predicts that online marketing within manufacturing and industrial communities will continue to grow in 2006.

Surveying marketing professionals and corporate managers in the industrial and manufacturing sectors, GlobalSpec found that a majority of the respondents (56%) plan on increasing their marketing spending in 2006, while only 7% plan to reduce spending.

In addition, 35% of the respondents indicated that they would spend upwards of 50% of their 2006 marketing budgets online.

"The marketing landscape has changed," says the report. "Five years ago, suppliers and manufacturers still relied primarily on traditional marketing channels and were cutting back budgets to weather the recession. Today there is increased economic optimism and a greater focus on online marketing now that the technical audience has fully migrated to the Internet."

The top online marketing channels used by marketing executives in the sectors covered in the survey in 2005 were online directories and Web sites, closely followed by e-mail advertising and search engine marketing.

Over half of the respondents to the survey said their top marketing goals this year were building new business and lead generation.

All this points to a growing preference for programs and channels that deliver qualified leads and open new markets. The ability to measure, track and calculate ROI on these programs and channels is also essential.

More here.