News Byte: Digital Marketing Spending Set to Surpass Direct Mail

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Digital marketing rises above direct mail.
Digital marketing rises above direct mail.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller and the 60 Minutes crew may come to trash data-driven marketing (DDM), but marketers themselves come to praise it. For the 78% of marketers expressed confidence in the integrity of data-driven marketing, according to the Direct Marketing Association's (DMA) Q4 2013 Quarterly Business Review.

The Review, based on a Winterberry Group survey of 290 marketers and marketing providers in January, revealed that 38% increased their DDM spending in the quarter and 45% kept spending steady. Meanwhile, 44% said they expected to increase digital budgets in the current quarter.

Survey respondents said that digital channels represented the eight fastest-growing among 13 addressable DDM media options. The DMA and Winterberry say early estimates suggest that, in 2014, spending on digital marketing channels will eclipse total investment in direct mail for the first time ever. 

“Practitioners of data-driven marketing have dealt with pressure from both inside and outside their industry over the last several years with turbulent macroeconomic conditions and scrutiny on data use,” said Jonathan Margulies, Managing Director of Winterberry Group. “But [they] are feeling optimistic about what lies ahead. Targeted, data-driven techniques are quickly becoming the standard in marketing.”

Marketers may be boldly marching into the digital age, but they still fear government intervention, according to DMA CEO Linda Woolley. “The threat of government regulation that could stifle the free-flow of data is clearly being felt and recognized more and more by members of the industry,” Woolley said. 

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