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DMA Reports: E-Mail to Surpass Direct Mail, Social Media Popular, Slight Growth in Telemarketing
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DMA Reports: E-Mail to Surpass Direct Mail, Social Media Popular, Slight Growth in Telemarketing

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July 20, 2010
By Brendan B. Read
Senior Contributing Editor


The name – branding – is the marketing game and that name will be appearing more in e-mail and social media, as well as to an extent in telemarketing than on direct mail. Yet,  the question of which mix of marketing channels works best, marketing pros are still trying to figure out.


That is the sense gained from the  Direct Marketing Association, DMA, new Digital Marketing Practices and Trends report which takes the pulse on digital and traditional marketing methods.  Key findings in the study, written for the DMA by David Shepard Associates, a database and interactive marketing consulting firm, include:

- Most marketers cite brand building, 71 percent, as a main objective of their digital marketing

- E-mail to customers and prospects combined will surpass direct mail: 18 percent to 16 percent in marketing budget allocations in the next 12 months. Catalog will decline to nine percent from 10 percent.

- Outbound and inbound telemarketing’s share blended will increase to nine percent from eight percent.

- Web marketing including search engine optimization and search engine marketing will grow to 13 percent from 12 percent while print advertising will decline to eight percent from nine percent.

- These trends are most pronounced in business-to-business. Budget allocations for ink-on-paper will shrink for direct mail, 17 percent to 15 percent and catalog, nine percent to eight percent, while print advertising will remain steady. Web marketing will climb to 14 percent.

- For companies who sell to/serve both B2B and B2C customers, e-mail is and will remain the number one channel; it will grow by more than 10 percent in the next 12 months. Mobile ads will also grow, while direct mail, catalog, and outbound telemarketing are all expected to remain the same over the next year.

- Social networking sites are the most used media platform. Some 88 percent of B2B companies and 82 percent of B2C companies use social media. The most widely used social media for B2B companies are professional social networks, 69 percent, microblogs, 53 percent, and blogs, 47 percent. For B2C companies, the most widely used social media were general social networks, e.g., Facebook (News - Alert) at 62 percent, microblogs at 54 percent, and blogs at 40 percent.

- E-mail represents just below 28 percent of the marketing messages sent in the past 12 months, and this will grow to almost 29 percent in a year. Direct mail will do the opposite over the next 12 months: it will decline from 25 percent of messages to 24 percent next year.

- Mobile ads will experience the fastest growth, +30 percent, going from four percent to over five percent, but it is still the smallest channel in terms of targeted marketing messages.

- For B2B marketers direct mail currently handles the most targeted messages, 29 percent followed by e-mail, 22 percent. In the next 12 months B2B marketers expect to use more e-mail, 25 percent, and fewer catalogs

- B2C marketers also use direct mail the most, 32 percent, followed by e-mail, 24 percent. In the next 12 months B2C marketers do not expect to change significantly what they are doing in terms of the media used to target messages. The one exception is that catalog usage will drop and mobile ads will increase

“These results clearly underscore the recognition that marketers see the need to experiment with new marketing channels which offer the opportunity to break through the marketing clutter with more personal and engaging messaging,” the report said.

While most marketers today are using digital media to both sell and nurture a stronger bond with their customers, according to the report, very few have mastered the analytics and found ways to accurately measure the incremental effect of each media within a multi-media campaign. However, many businesses still consider themselves operating in the learning, transitioning, and integrating phases. 

“Not surprisingly, the study shows many companies are continually testing targeted messages across various media to find optimal cost efficiency and marketing effectiveness,” said Rus Rempala of David Shepard Associates.“We expect to see much more advanced strategic testing in the near future as more and more marketers navigate the multichannel digital age.”  


Brendan B. Read is TMCnet’s Senior Contributing Editor. To read more of Brendan’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Ed Silverstein

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