Cover Story: Media Usage Forecast 2011
B-to-B vs. B-to-C
For the second year, we tracked responses by three verticals: B-to-B, B-to-C and hybrid companies (who market to both consumers and businesses). You can see in the chart on page 23 how firms of each type expect their budgets to compare to 2010.
In last year's forecast, we noted that B-to-B marketers were faring best at the beginning of the turnaround. The 2011 B-to-B overall budget chart is almost identical to 2010. B-to-C budgets appear to be more volatile, with fewer staying flat and a much higher percentage in decline. But B-to-C budgets compare favorably to last year, when 31 percent decreased, 42 percent stayed the same and only 22 percent pushed upward.
Hybrid companies are far more optimistic about 2011 than 2010. Last year, 30 percent of those firms were decreasing budgets, 40 percent stayed flat and 23 percent were increasing—numbers just as depressed as B-to-C's. This year, 36 percent of those firms are increasing direct marketing budgets, and only 14 percent plan to decrease.
Webcasts garnered interesting results. Only about half of all companies are using them, but that breaks down as 66 percent of B-to-B marketers, 25 percent of B-to-C and 57 percent of hybrid companies. However, only 3 percent of companies are decreasing their webcast budgets. More companies are increasing webcast spend than holding it steady in both B-to-B (36 percent increasing, 27 percent staying the same) and hybrid marketers (33 percent increasing, 20 percent staying the same).
The New Email?
Email has seen steady growth as a direct marketing medium every year we've conducted this survey, and 2011 is no different. Nearly 70 percent of companies are still increasing their spend on email marketing, 85 percent use it for acquisition and 90 percent use it for retention. For all the strikes against email—that it can be intrusive, spammy, etc. when done wrong—the chart on page 28 proves its worth. More respondents ranked email as the top ROI channel in every case except B-to-C acquisition and hybrid retention, where it was second only to direct mail. No other media approach that level of across-the-charts investment and satisfaction ... except social media.