Harte-Hanks Study: Marketers Invest More in Online and Database Marketing in 2005

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One in five organizations spend more than 45 percent of their overall marketing budgets on "target marketing" and an additional two in five spend between 15 percent and 45 percent on such activity, according to a new survey report by CSO Insights Inc. for direct marketing services firm Harte-Hanks Inc.

The report finds that nearly three out of four companies this year plan more investments in database management. Three in five companies plan to spend more on e-mail, Web design and data quality efforts and more than one in two on search engine marketing.

"Database and interactive marketing lead all categories in new marketing investments," Richard Hochhauser, president/CEO of Harte-Hanks, New York, said in a statement. "Web sites and e-mail, in particular, really show strength. Yet struggles with data quality and data management remain pervasive. There is more work to do."

The study, called the "2005 Executive Report: Target Marketing Priorities Analysis," showed 43 percent of the respondents have a regular or constant program to support personalization and one-to-one marketing. Thirty-three percent said they are "good" or "very good" at calculating customer profitability.

However, more than a third of the respondents rate their database management as "poor" or "very poor." Only 12 percent rate themselves as "very good."

Also, 53 percent of the respondents feel their own customer data are at least 75 percent accurate, and 40 percent believe that less than half their prospect data are correct.

A total of 281 firms participated in this survey conducted online in April and May. One in four respondents were from companies reporting more than $1 billion in revenue. Seventy percent of the firms are based in the United States.

Mickey Alam Khan covers Internet marketing campaigns and e-commerce, agency news as well as circulation for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters

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