According to a recent survey by Alterian (a marketing analytics provider), 84% of marketers are increasing their online marketing budgets this year. This does not surprise me for several reasons.
- Online marketing is measurable. Offline marketing (print, direct mail, billboards etc…) could really only provide estimated exposures to a marketers message. In the digital age, not only can marketers know how many eyes have seen their message, but they can be told who, when, and how they responded. That’s the kind of power that has eluded offline marketing.
- Accountability. Many marketers are being required to justify their marketing spends by achieving results. The ability to track online ads and future actions by the people responding to ads is difficult because it’s hard to say which ad or what influenced the final decision by the customer, but online offers the best ability to determine this.
- Online is affordable. It much more cost-effective to send 10,000 emails than it is to send 10,000 direct mail pieces. Likewise for banners compared to billboards.
- Online is much more flexible and dynamic. Online ads can include flash elements, video, audio, surveys, and links to other sources of information for the reader. And the message can be changed literally in a few moment’s time.
So what’s the opportunity? The opportunity lies in an integrated program that includes a budget for direct mail, print and the like. I have noticed a marked difference in “junk mail” in my mailbox and I think the main reason for this is the fact that marketers are no longer casting a wide net and see how many fish they land, and are dropping people from lists that do not respond in a given time. But another reason is that they have turned to online as “the” source for their marketing.
So as more marketers clear the pond so to speak of direct mail and print, it leaves more space and time for your customers to notice your well-crafted, relevant and targeted message. So bear that in mind when creating your marketing budgets and resource allocation.