Marketers Tread Slowly into Emerging Media

Nearly one in two marketers has not yet allocated dollars to emerging media, such as social networks, blogs, or word-of-mouth initiatives, a study reveals.

The finding is part of the Direct Marketing Association‘s Statistical Fact Book, released yesterday. The fact book assembles data from over 65 industry sources.

While 45 percent of the integrated marketers surveyed by database marketing firm Epsilon said they haven’t spent marketing dollars in emerging media, they’re interested in doing so. Social computing/word-of-mouth marketing tops the list with 67 percent interested in incorporating it into their campaigns. The findings resonate across all marketing, not just direct marketing. A TNS/Cymfony report released last week finds many companies are still slow to invest in social media. Other areas of interest identified by marketers: blogs, 55 percent; mobile, 48 percent; and RSS feeds, 44 percent. Instant messaging rates a lower 31 percent.

Web-based marketing is gaining in importance, according to statistics from Harte-Hanks. In business-to-consumer marketing, close to 90 percent of study respondents said Web sites and micro-sites are gaining in importance. About 30 percent said paid search and traditional media are gaining in importance.

Other findings show:

  • In e-mail marketing, 73 percent of every dollar spent went to customer retention and the rest went to acquisition, according to DMA’s statistics.
  • Two-thirds of online search users performed searches as a direct result of exposure to an offline channel, such as a television ad (37 percent) or word of mouth from a friend (36 percent), according to a Jupiter Research/Ipos Insight consumer survey.
  • When asked the purpose of search engine marketing, 57 percent said it’s used to increase brand awareness, according to a survey by Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization. A total of 47 percent of the advertisers and agencies said it’s to generate leads for themselves, and 20 percent said it’s for leads for a dealer or distributor.

In the consumer category, digital advertising will continue to experience an increase in spending over the next year and beyond. Search is forecast to grow about 28 percent in 2008 to reach over $10 billion, and 23 percent in 2009 or $12 billion. Online classifieds are expected to reach $4.6 billion in 2008, an increase of nearly 27 percent compared to 2007; online classifieds will climb another 18 percent in 2009.

Display ads are forecast to total $5.4 billion in 2008, representing 23 percent growth this year. They’re set to grow almost 19 percent next year. Rich media is projected to reach $1.7 billion in 2008, a 20 percent leap, and then 19 percent next year. Spending in e-mail is expected to increase to $494 million this year, an increase of around 19 percent this year, and about 23 percent in 2009.

Sponsorships are the only category tracked in the study that the DMA expects to see consecutive-year declines. Between 2007 and 2008 the category will dip approximately 16 percent. By 2009 sponsorships are expected to drop another 12 percent.

National consumer Internet advertising spending is calculated by the DMA using figures from Veronis Suhler Stevenson, PQ Media, and the Interactive Advertising Bureau. Anna Maria Virzi contributed to this report.

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