Survey: More Spending on Direct Marketing Expected

Most marketers and marketing service providers believe that they or their clients will spend more on direct marketing this year than they had in 2005, according to a survey by global database marketer Alterian.

But the respondents said technology and legislative issues remain unsolved for many. Customer insight and analysis and data hygiene were considered “major headaches” for those surveyed.

“Responsibility and ownership of technology is still not in enough marketers’ hands even though they understand its value, and as customer data grows and media fragmentation increases, so does the pressure on them to be more accountable than ever,” Alterian CEO David Eldridge said in a statement.

Of the almost 700 U.S. and U.K. executives surveyed in December, 63% said they thought there would be a rise in direct marketing spending, while just 5% thought they or their clients would want a decrease. U.S. respondents were more confident than their U.K. counterparts, with 70% expecting an increase in spending compared with 53% in the U.K.

Almost half (47%) of participants planned to spend at least $1 million on direct marketing, with 27% expecting to spend at least $5 million. Thirty-five percent of respondents expected to spend between $100,000 and $1 million.

Ownership of marketing technology was seen as a major issue, with 47% stating that other internal departments were responsible for using technology on their behalf, while only 13% outsourced any process that may be assisted by technology to a service provider.

But marketers realize technology’s value, with 55% saying that “providing the opportunity to analyze, visualize, and segment customer data” was the area that lends the most value to the direct marketing process. Interestingly, only 21% chose “campaign management and response analysis.” “Marketing departments are looking to technology to improve effectiveness of campaigns – to help drive the right strategy built on analysis and customer intelligence – ahead of trying to enhance campaign process and workflow,” Eldridge said. “Many marketers are struggling with data quality issues and extracting value from their data they can actually use to drive a strategy, due to the simple reason they don’t have the inhouse expertise or aren’t empowered to interact with the data themselves.”

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