Business Media Matters : August 2011
DMA Releases Quarterly Business Review for Q2 2011
Findings show that marketers are cautiously optimistic
The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) released its Quarterly Business Review (QBR) this week for the second quarter of 2011. On this report, DMA partnered with Winterberry Group, a strategic management consulting firm that helps advertising and marketing companies build shareholder value.
In Q2, marketers reported moderate growth in spending, sales, profits and staffing, compared with the previous quarter (Q1 2011) and same quarter last year (Q2 2010). This good news in performance metrics was tempered by continued uncertainty about general economic conditions. Even as marketers reported guarded optimism about Q3, they cited general economic conditions as the leading inhibitor of marketing performance.
“Continued uncertainty about the future has encouraged marketers to take a cautious approach,” said Yory Wurmser, DMA’s director of media and marketing insights. “The chart below shows that marketers are dedicating roughly 54% of their budgets to acquisition, a lower number than reported in previous quarters. The less emphasis marketers put on acquisition, the less sanguine they are about the marketplace.”
Some key findings include:
- 91.6% of marketers said investment in direct/digital marketing activity grew or remained steady compared to the previous quarter.
- 52.1% of marketers expect to maintain direct/digital budgets at Q2 2011 levels during Q3 2011. An additional 42.3% plan to increase spending next quarter (Q3 2011), while only 2.8% plan to decrease direct/digital spending.
- More than one third of marketers (35.6%) indicated that profitability increased compared to last quarter (Q1 2011); 8.5% cited a decrease.
- Although a majority of both marketers and suppliers did not change staffing levels from Q1, suppliers were more likely than marketers to have added staff.
- As in previous quarters, the bulk of new investment is going to digital channels such as email, search, online display and mobile.
- After a dip in prioritization last quarter, marketers once again cited “General Economic Conditions” as the top challenge in their efforts to drive improved direct/digital marketing performance.
Introducing ABM's Mobile Drill Down, Featuring PwC
ABM recently announced the launch of its Drill Down series, one-day seminars designed to explore important industry topics in depth. Considering the rapid adoption of smartphones and tablets by businesspeople, which presents an unprecedented opportunity for innovation in b-to-b content, sales and business models, mobile was selected as the series' first area of focus.
Join industry thought leaders on November 9th in New York City to learn practical, actionable insight into building your mobile revenue. Kicking off the event will be our keynote session:
Finding Your Digital Waldo in a World of iPads
The rate of exponential change in mobile technology continues to accelerate and create new opportunities for those that invest in the right capabilities at the right time.
Daniel Eckert, a Director/CTO of PricewaterhouseCooper's Customer Impact Line, will guide your journey as he peeks into the future and shares examples of how technology is becoming more transparent - and how it's transforming the way b-to-b media & information companies provide solutions for their audiences and employees. He will also present trends and highlight emerging patterns that will mature over the next 3-5 years, and how you can leverage these patterns to improve the customer experience.
Growth in Facebook Members Slows While Twitter Adoption Plateaus
The number of Facebook users in the U.S. will increase 13.4%, this year eMarketer estimates, after 38.6% growth in 2010 and a whopping 90.3% rise the year before. The rate of adult Twitter user adoption has similarly begun to plateau, dropping from 293.1% growth in 2009 to 26.3% this year and still slowing. In many developing countries, these and other networks are seeing their audience growth taper off as most new users come from other countries such as the BRIC nations and Indonesia.
Meanwhile, users in more advanced countries have been shifting their behaviors after spending years on the sites. According to the GlobalWebIndex “Wave 5 Trends” report, social network usage growth has all but stopped among 16- to 24-year-olds in the U.S. and in a few countries usage within this already-saturated group is actually declining.
Among those who remain on Facebook, GlobalWebIndex reports, there were declines in participation in activities like messaging with friends, sending digital gifts, installing applications and joining groups between July 2009 and June 2011. The activities on the wane are decreasing faster in the U.S. than worldwide, and are often decreasing even further among college-educated U.S. users under the age of 30.
To read the full article, click here.
UBM TechWeb Explores Technology and the 'New' Customer-Driven Marketing Model
Marketers are constantly trying to figure out the right balance between the urgent – filling the pipeline with leads via digitally-driven campaigns – and the scalable, delivering integrated, sustained brand building programs. Case in point, Outsell research shows that b-to-b marketers spend 41% of their budgets on digital, with nearly 50% of it being spent on their own websites. Yet, this same research shows that marketers have also become frustrated with their inability to “be everywhere at once” and drive their own web initiatives to convert clicks to revenue or even measure the effectiveness of their own digital efforts.
Technological change means that marketing has grown in complexity and scope, but so has the potential for powerful outcomes. In their recent white paper, Tony Uphoff and Scott Vaughan of UBM TechWeb identify five key areas that make up a customer-driven marketing model. The authors note that marketing teams must be experts in technology, audience/community, content, analytics and user experience in order to credibly compete – or find that expertise elsewhere.
To access the white paper, click here.
IAB Opposes ICANN's New Domain Name Plan
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has come out against the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers' (ICANN) plan to add thousands of new domain names. Following the Association of National Advertisers' attack on ICANN's generic top-level domain (GTLD) plan earlier this month, the IAB asked ICANN to abandon the plan.
According to BtoB magazine, GTLDs are designed to allow companies to create their own Internet domains, such as .cisco or .cocacola. IAB said the new system, in which domain name applications would cost $185,000, would lead to high costs and create increased potential for cyber squatters.
“ICANN's potentially momentous change seems to have been made in a top-down star chamber. There appears to have been no economic impact research, no full and open stakeholder discussions and little concern for the delicate balance of the Internet ecosystem,” said Randall Rothenberg, IAB's president-CEO, in a statement.
Mobile Email: What to Consider Before You Get Started
Smartphone sales are surging, and email is one of the most common items people use their smartphone to access. Only calling and texting are more common smartphone activities, according to a recent article in MediaPost.
U.K.-based research from e-Dialog indicated that one in three consumers say they are accessing email more than ever – in large part because their mobile phones provide them with ever-present access to email accounts.
Smartphone manufactures have known for some time that email is the key to their success: Email was the driving force behind BlackBerry's early success, and improving on email user interfaces was a major pillar for both iPhone and Android when they launched.
To help bring continued success to your mobile plan, Morgan Stewart, co-founder and CEO, Trendline Interactive, shares three ways to mobilize your email program.
- Know your audience. Determining your mobile readership is simple. At Trendline Interactive, we use Litmus to determine mobile penetration, but other applications like Mailbox IQ from Pivotal Veracity are also available. Once you know how many of your subscribers are reading your emails on mobile devices, it becomes easier to prioritize. In the past few months, we have had clients with less than 5% mobile readership, while others had nearly 40% mobile readership. If your mobile readership is low, then there are probably better ways to invest your resources, but if you are seeing 20% or higher mobile readership, it's time to get moving.
- Think through the process. Mobile email is not a simple stopgap tactic. It can represent a fundamental shift in your overall marketing strategy. Everything from how the email is triggered to how people are expected to take action on your emails come into play. For example, if you leverage SMS to capture email addresses and follow up with an immediate response, the triggered email response absolutely needs to be optimized for mobile viewing. If providing store locations is part of your strategy, people may actually rely on your email for directions. Make sure the email and the map link are mobile-friendly.
- Design cross platform. People are reading more email on their smartphones, but nearly half of consumers are still likely to wait to read business email on a computer. The challenge is that sometimes they read your email on their smartphone, sometimes they read it on a computer, and sometimes they read it on both. Trying to determine what device people will use, and taking action on that information, is much more difficult than simply designing emails for cross-platform rendering. However, this area of email design best practices is going through some rapid iterative improvements. While some designers are taking an active leadership role in this space, don't wait for others to provide all the answers.
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