Know When to Fold ‘Em: How Marketer’s Budgets Are Changing in 2015
As the legendary Kenny Rogers sang, "You've gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away." Even though he was talking about poker in his classic song "The Gambler," there's valuable advice in there for marketers, too. When the going gets tough, sometimes it's best to just close up shop on a certain channel. In our recent Media Usage Survey 2015, we polled marketers on how their spend changed between 2014 and 2015—which revealed some areas that might be on the verge of folding, and which will be a winning hand this year.
Clearly, one of the trump cards in 2015 and beyond is Social Media. The second most increased, with 62 percent of respondents saying that their SM spend would increase. In the words of one B-to-B marketer, their company was making "moves to social media, webcasts," in an effort to follow clients. Another marketer praises Social Media, saying that it "is a proven winner when it comes to customer acquisition and retention."
The most-increased is email, weighing in with 66 percent of marketers polled indicating that their spend would go up this year. Additionally, only three percent of marketers don't use it, at all—the lowest of any media on our whole survey. "We rely heavily on email marketing and content distribution," said one response, "and we believe those are still the best ways to acquire and retain our customers." Unlike poker, where hands are randomized, marketers get to choose their cards—and having email in-hand always makes for strong plays.
In terms of folding, it's hard to give a clear-cut loser. While direct mail saw the biggest number of marketers saying that they were planning on decreasing it, don't count it out completely just yet. As newer strategies begin factoring into the direct marketing equation, direct mail's share is being spread around to other hands on the direct marketing table. A similar channel is telemarketing. With six percent (one of the higher negative responses) of marketers noting that they were decreasing it, it would be easy to dismiss it. However, that would negate the many successful cases where telemarketing is critical to a marketing strategy. In the written responses, many B-to-B and B-to-C marketers alike specifically noted the merits of telemarketing for them. However, it must be considered that almost half—47 percent—let us know that they didn't use it at all. So while it might be great situationally, definitely consider folding it if you're finding it to not be a good fit.