Cover Story: Media Usage Forecast 2012
That "change in business model to increase focus on bringing in new customers as opposed to client retention," as one B-to-B and B-to-C marketer describes it, shows up in budget allocations, as well. Fewer than 10 percent of respondents reported a decrease in their customer acquisition budgets, and a full 38 percent are rising. Last year, this report said budgets had stabilized and companies were playing defense, focusing on retention. This year, marketers are more focused on investing to expand their customer bases.
Email continues to be the lead customer acquisition channel according to the survey, with 86 percent of respondents planning to use it for that purpose. Direct mail is second, with 69 percent using it for acquisition in 2012.
Search marketing (PPC, 59 percent) and search engine optimization (SEO, 67 percent) are the leading methods of online direct marketing. The social media channel shows no signs of slowing down or succumbing to its alleged fad status either, with 67 percent of marketers planning to use it for engagement in 2012 (an 11 point increase over 56 percent in 2011) and 35 percent planning to buy paid social media ads (almost doubling last year's 19 percent). Webcasts also see a big jump in 2012, with 34 percent of marketers planning to use the channel compared with 21 percent in 2011.
The increase includes older, even declining media channels, as well. Advertising on outside websites (56 percent in 2012 compared to 47 percent in 2011) and telemarketing (36 percent from 31 percent) are both up, as are affiliate marketing (41 percent from 33 percent), direct response radio (15 percent from 11 percent) and even direct response TV (14 percent from 9 percent).
The fastest growing acquisition channels are on mobile devices. Marketing via the mobile Web and apps (32 percent from 13 percent), and lower bandwidth methods like text, SMS and telemarketing (25 percent from 11 percent), will all more than double in 2012, according to the survey.