A recent report suggesting an increased spend of digital channels should be good news for Direct Marketing.
The Accenture survey was reported in Marketing Week. The results of the survey of more than 580 senior marketing personnel around the world were published in the Accenture Report, with “fundamental changes” in the next five years one of the underlining messages. More than three quarters of participants, 78%, believe that major change is on the horizon with mobile, digital and analytics pinpointed as the underlying factors. More than one in three, 37%, said they anticipate around three quarters of their marketing budgets being used for digital purposes by 2019, while another third, 35%, said they expect more than half their budget to be used on mobile technology.
However, this should not be seen as bad news for more ‘traditional’ direct marketing channels. As Marketing Weeks’s news editor Russell Parsons argued in an editorial piece for the magazine “the development driving the marketers polled by Accenture to embrace a digital future is data.” Of course the report recognises changing consumer behaviour – more and more of us are consuming our information digitally. Newspapers, books, communicating with ‘friends’ and much more are increasingly done via digital channels and this has offered many new digital channels that are being used by marketers and advertisers. In April this year the expectations of Wall Street were blown out of the water with the performance of Facebook Inc, which rocketed in the first three months, increasing revenue by 72% and in doing so, demonstrating that its recent windfalls in advertising were no coincidence.
However, much of this spend on data and improvements in the quality, analysis and use of data will have a positive effect on traditional marketing channels. As Russell concludes “At the heart of it, it is data-driven communication. As is digital marketing. The rise of digital marketing is the rise of direct marketing. Whether you are targeting prospects using addressed mail, which still very much has its place, or geo-location via a smartphone at the core of all of it should be how best to reach and serve the customer. What channel you use is incidental, it’s all direct marketing.”
And further – smart marketers realise that integrating the benefits of digital marketing, effective data and direct marketing will create an effective mix that will drive response rates and sales. The new era of improved data offers many opportunities for ‘traditional’ direct mail.
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