Mobile marketing to 'explode' in 2012

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Bruce Biegel
Bruce Biegel

Mobile marketing and mobile-related ad spending will grow significantly this year, predicted Bruce Biegel, managing director of the Winterberry Group, a marketing consulting company, during a presentation to the Direct Marketing Club of New York (DMCNY) on Jan. 12.

“This is the year mobile explodes,” he said, noting that U.S. adults spent 30% more time interacting with their mobile devices at the end of 2011 than they did at the beginning of the year.

U.S. mobile advertising spending increased 41.2% to $1.2 billion in 2011, compared with 2010, according to the Winterberry report. Digital overall increased 19.8% to $34.6 billion in the same time period. Email increased 18.1% to $1.6 billion year-over-year.

Biegel also noted direct mail advertising spending increased 2% year-over-year to $45.8 billion. However, Biegel said that in 2012 “money will continue shifting out of traditional channels and into emerging or evolving channels.”

Biegel said that direct mail is still valuable to marketers even while the volume of first-class mail continues to decline. “Mail's not dead,” he said. “Mail is mature.”

Biegel estimated that in 2012, traditional direct mail will still see a modest increase of 2.5% and predicted increases of 17.4% in digital and 12.5% in email marketing spend.

Total U.S. direct and digital ad spending totaled $215.9 billion in 2011, according to the Winterberry report. Insert media spending increased 12.5% to $0.9 billion in 2011, compared with 2010. Direct-response broadcast spending increased 7.6% to $25.4 billion year-over-year, while direct-response print increased 2% to $15.3 billion and teleservices spending increased 1.5% to $40.1 billion.

Mobile in 2012, he predicted, will increase by a whopping 50.2% to $1.8 billion. Biegel explained mobile marketing has grown in value with the prevalence of smartphones, geolocation and increasingly tech-savvy consumers. He noted that consumer behavior is changing and marketers must adapt.

Tied to this evolution is a need for legacy data management platforms to support vast new streams of information from mobile and digital channels, including consumer behavior data, opt-in information, web analytics, contact and demographics information, transactional and loyalty records and public records, he said.

Much of the deluge of data now available to marketers through various streams is tossed away, as marketers don't know how to use it, and storing the information is difficult, Biegel said.

These evolving marketing operations will significantly alter the advertising ecosystem, resulting in industry consolidation, particularly among agencies. "What's direct, what's digital will start to fade away," Biegel said.

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