Study: Promotion Execs Don't Grasp Digital Tech

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Despite considerable use of the Internet and e-mail, promotional marketing executives still lag in building on the potential of digital technologies. Their lack of knowledge about what's possible is one major reason why, according to an online survey being released today.

The study, "Digital Directions: How Technology Is Touching & Transforming Promotions," found that though almost all respondents think technology is affecting promotional marketing practices, less than half have a good understanding of digital marketing practices.

It is being released by the Chief Marketing Officer Council, Palo Alto, CA, and the Promotion Marketing Association Inc., New York.

The survey found that 99 percent said technology is affecting promotional marketing, and 80 percent think technology is improving or affecting their own business processes or campaigns. Yet only 43 percent said they have a very good understanding of digital marketing. Also, 55 percent lack a dedicated resource in their company to track and implement new technologies.

"Promotion succeeds because of its ability to interact with a consumer in a very real and measurable way," PMA president Claire Rosenzweig said. "Interactive marketing is a natural extension of a marketer's ability to have a real dialogue with their customers in a way that traditional advertising doesn't allow. Recognition of this is only the first step, however. The survey clearly shows that marketers must seize the opportunity to increase their knowledge about the tools available to capitalize on them to their fullest extent."

Other survey findings:

· The Internet is by far the most popular type of digital media used, as 98.4 percent of respondents said they used Web sites, 92 percent use e-mail campaigns and nearly 70 percent run some form of online advertising.

· 73 percent think technology enables better communication and integration of online and offline efforts. Greater customer intimacy, via the Internet's real-time interactions with customers, also was cited as a benefit.

· College students, teen-agers and males 18-34 were identified by respondents as ripe targets for digital promotional campaigns.

"While individual marketers can't be expected to keep pace with every innovation in technology, they need people who can -- professionals who can help decide which tools to use in their promotional campaigns," said Scott Van Camp, editorial director of the CMO Council and author of the report. "They say they understand how important technology is, but are not doing enough about it. That's an environment that clearly leads to huge missed opportunities."

The study was based on a survey conducted in the second half of 2004 of nearly 260 marketers from various industry sectors, including consumer packaged goods, entertainment, financial services and IT. The study was fielded by the CMO Council, whose members include 1,200 top marketing decision makers at high-tech companies, in association with the PMA.

The full study is available at

Melissa Campanelli covers postal news, CRM and database marketing for DM News and To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting

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