Cover Story: Media Usage Forecast 2011
The eclectic mix of multichannel direct marketing reported here appears to be more than a response to the recession. It looks like marketing's new normal.
There is not a single media category in the 2011 survey that has more companies decreasing spend on it than increasing. And while that may seem like a trivial detail, it's the first time we've been able to say that since 2007—yet another sign of stability in direct marketing media usage.
Multichannel is hardly worth mentioning as a separate marketing strategy anymore—it's just marketing now. Flipping through the individual responses to this survey (which do not contain any personally identifiable information) it's obvious that no one is putting the entire marketing budget into one channel. And as you can see from the chart on page 24, only three of the 14 mediums we list are ignored by a majority of marketers: DRTV, DR radio and insert media.
Direct mail and DR space ads see the highest percentage of companies reducing spend (12.7 percent and 10.7 percent, respectively), but more companies plan to increase spending on those channels than decrease. So while print has been squeezed, as we reported in the 2010 Media Usage Forecast, it still appears to be a top-performer for companies using it. Open responses indicated that companies decreasing direct mail spend were doing so due to costs, not results. And direct mail ranks very highly as the medium with the highest ROI in the charts on page 28.
"The personal touch of direct mail and social media" was a main reason for this year's budget adjustment for one B-to-C marketer—and you just can't get more multichannel than that. The marketer continued, "metrics we pull have our messages being received and read, even responded to, on the prospect/customers' time frame. Not [an intrusive time frame as with] TV commercials, email, some search engine marketing, online advertising, etc. Direct mail especially allows our customers a non-invasive first touch or introduction to products, services, etc. They opt to continue communicating that way, or they allow us to offer the communication method most preferred."