Lines between DM and brand marketing blurring: DMA report

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The lines between direct marketing and brand marketing have all but disappeared, according to a new survey by the Direct Marketing Association.

The report, "The Integration of Direct Marketing and Brand," shows how direct marketing's versatility and measurability have led marketers to integrate direct marketing tactics into all brand marketing efforts across multiple channels.

"Direct marketing's scalability, measurability and undeniable ROI has moved it to the forefront of all marketing, including branding," Eugenia Steingold, senior research manager at the DMA and author of the report, said in a statement. "The findings of our latest report show that direct marketing tactics designed to increase consumer awareness and action are ubiquitous - from URLs on all marketing materials to 800 numbers, to calls-to-action in TV, radio and print ads - and across every other type of marketing media."

The report examines how direct marketing and brand building are being integrated in today's multichannel environment to increase response rates, sales, profitability, and brand awareness. The report benchmarks current branding practices, direct marketing's impact on brand marketing, measurement of brand campaigns and the impact of brand marketing on direct marketing.

Following are some of the DMA report's key findings.

-Overall, 56 percent of respondents use one or more direct marketing channels with their brand awareness advertising.

-Half use Web marketing with response mechanisms; 48 percent use trackable offers; 43 percent practice list building; 45 percent include calls-to-action on Web pages; and 32 percent use response analyses and modeling.

-E-mail marketing is also commonly combined with a range of direct marketing tactics. For example, 52 percent of respondents use calls-to-action in their emails; 50 percent use targeting; 47 percent include trackable offers and response mechanisms; and 46 percent practice e-mail list building.

-Search engine optimization and search engine marketing show significant use among respondents: 28 percent pair SEO/SEM with response mechanisms; 31 percent use SEO with targeting; and 25 percent use search engine data for list building.

-On average, respondents report that 64 percent of their marketing dollars are allocated to direct marketing and 36 percent go toward mass marketing.

-Nearly 70 percent of brand marketers rate personalization as having a positive or strong positive effect on brand and 64 percent rate targeting as having a positive or strong positive effect.

-Of those surveyed, 30 percent target their TV ads; 28 percent include a call-to-action and 26 percent include response mechanisms such as an 800 number or URL. These data suggest that direct marketing tactics are effective even within traditional mass-marketing channels.

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