Cover Story: Media Usage Forecast 2012

Chart 1: Overall Media Budget 2011 vs. 2012

Chart 2: Comparing 2012 to 2011, do you plan for spending to increase, decrease or stay the same on these media?

Chart 3: Compared to 2011, are you planning to increase, decrease or stay the same in using these marketing technologies?

Chart 4: Comparing 2012 to 2011, which delivery methods do you use for customer acquisition.

Chart 5: Which media delivers the strongest ROI?

Chart 6: Comparing 2012 to 2011, which delivery methods do you use for customer retention?

Marketers are back on the trail of new customers with new technologies

Marketers are climbing out of the foxholes and charging back to the fight for new customers in 2012. At least, that’s what we see in the results of Target Marketing’s 2012 Annual Media Usage Survey. Overall marketing budgets in 2012 aren’t too different from what they were in 2011, but their investments are more aggressive and customer acquisition-oriented.

The Budget Picture
“The main influence was an increase in budget to explore new marketing outlets,” one B-to-C marketer explains in the answer to the survey’s open response question: “What factors have influenced changes in your direct marketing media allocations from 2011 to 2012?”

Overall, 49 percent of marketers report no change in their 2012 budgets compared to 2011, 29 percent report increases, and 16 percent have seen their budgets fall. Those are all very similar to what we heard from the 2011 survey, and no news is good news in a lot of ways. Marketers started to get rolling again last year, and continuing that is a positive sign. Moreover it means for two years running, nearly twice as many companies have expanded budgets than 
have shrunk them.

When you look at where those budgets are allocated, marketers are making a big push to acquire new customers in 2012. “We are in a ‘Strategic Growth Initiative,'” says one B-to-B marketer, “and the money has been budgeted to be more aggressive in our marketing efforts.”

Acquisition Rules
More marketers are planning to use every method of customer acquisition in 2012.

That was the most striking result from the survey. As you can see in Chart 4, we asked whether or not respondents had used 16 different media channels for customer acquisition in 2011, and whether or not they plan to use those channels in 2012. For every channel, more respondents plan to use it in 2012 than used it in 2011.

Thorin McGee is editor-in-chief and content director of Target Marketing and oversees editorial direction and product development for the magazine, website and other channels.
Related Content
  • tracy_keith

    Very interesting article. Just wanted to mention that I think your key is backwards on Chart 4.