Direct Marketing Sees Steady Improvement Across All KPIs
Marketing and advertising levels continued their slow but steady growth in the fourth quarter of 2010, according to the Direct Marketing Association and Winterberry Group's Quarterly Business Review. The report also indicates there's reason for marketers to be optimistic in 2011.
Commercial and nonprofit marketers spent a combined $153.3 billion on direct marketing last year, accounting for 54.2 percent of all ad spending in the U.S. The $153.3 billion in spending represents 8.3 percent of the total U.S. gross domestic product for 2010.
The majority of marketers surveyed (54.7 percent) saw an increase in their direct marketing revenue versus the same quarter in 2009. Marketers reported “general demand for digital marketing investment/activity” as the most significant driver of marketing investment in last year's fourth quarter, in contrast to previous quarters, when the leading answer was “availability of improved data analytics tools and processes.”
Digital channels such as search, social media and mobile had the largest return on investment increases of any marketing vehicles, the report found. This news is making marketers optimistic about 2011, with 53.5 percent of marketers and 46.1 percent of suppliers projecting an improved performance for the first quarter of this year.
One area that still needs improvement, however, is job growth. The report revealed that 67.1 percent of marketers and 51.7 percent of suppliers said their staffing levels didn't change from the third quarter of 2010 to the fourth quarter of 2010. Overall there were 1.4 million direct marketing employees last year, and their collective sales accounted for 8.4 million other jobs.