2014 Is All About the Benjamins, Forecast Shows

Bruce Biegel, managing director of the Winterberry Group

The future’s so green, direct marketers have to wear shades of optimism and fatter wallets in 2014 and beyond.

That was the take from Bruce A. Biegel, senior managing director of the Winterberry Group, speaking during the Jan. 9 luncheon at the Direct Marketing Club of New York. His presentation, “Annual Outlook: What to Expect in Direct & Digital Marketing in 2014,” mostly covered emerging trends, with a quick recap of 2013.

Biegel’s picks for top 2014 trends are: content marketing, postal price hikes threatening direct mail, increased programmatic display ad buying, enhanced attribution driving more “digital spend,” social targeting with customer relationship management (CRM) data going mainstream, online and offline data continuing to merge, campaign management platforms evolving to support omnichannel execution, video, marketing talent changing, and consolidations and “significant” companies going public.

In Biegel’s report, green arrows represent growth, blue boxes show no change and red arrows, pointing downward, are decreases in marketing spending in 2014.

“We’ve got pretty much all green going on this year,” Biegel says.

The largest growth, in terms of dollars, will be in U.S. “Direct and Digital” Spending, at $140.7 billion—a 5.5 percent increase over 2013 levels. Pulling out just the “digital” projections—including mobile, search, social, display and email marketing—Biegel forecasts a 14 percent increase, equaling $50.6 billion in ad spend. “Traditional” media—comprised of television, magazines, outdoor advertising, radio and cinema—will grow at 0.9 percent, or $124.6 billion. This will happen amid a 2.8 percent rise in the American economy, he says.

“People are saying, ‘You know what?'” Biegel says, “‘Things are better.'”

Trends dominate his market analysis, because organizations aren’t necessarily ready for market realities yet, he says. For instance, “empires will fall” when silos disappear and compensation packages based on antiquated metrics prove impractical.

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

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