Cover Story: Media Usage Forecast 2013
6 things you need to know about this year's direct marketing budgets and the channels where they're going
As you can see in Chart 2, these channels will increase the most in 2013, but fewer marketers are increasing them than in 2011 and 2012.
The only other channel to rise more than 50 percent through 2011 and 2012 was SEO, and that is not slipping—51 percent of marketers are increasing spending this year, the same as last year. And that's only 1 percent below 2011 levels.
The number of companies increasing spending on a medium may not be the complete picture—in fact, the "stay the same" response is up for both email and social media—but it shows that the rush to catch up is perhaps slowing down, and at least some companies must feel they're reaching diminishing returns.
3. Direct Mail's Standing vs. Email
In 2007, the first year we conducted this survey, 91 percent of responding marketers used direct mail. It was the most universally used direct marketing channel. Only 85 percent were using email, 63 percent used search and social wasn't even on our radar.
This year, direct mail is still being used by 80 percent of respondents, but with so many other channels competing for attention, it's clear its role has changed.
And yet, direct mail is still one of the top media for ROI. In Chart 4, you can see that direct mail spars with email to offer the highest ROI for acquisition and retention in each segment. The only use for which it's not in the top two for ROI is B-to-B retention, where telemarketing edges it out by 1 percent. ("Other" in that chart is a collection of smaller ROI channels, not a single channel itself.)
Where does that put direct mail in the minds of marketers?
One B-to-B respondent cites "better ROI on direct mail in retention and acquisition of customers" as the primary factor in determining marketing budget for 2013.