Report: Marketing Dollars Shifting to Direct Response

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The Winterberry Group released a report today documenting a shift from above-the-line marketing to below-the-line marketing. The report was commissioned by V12 Group, New York, a provider of database and multichannel marketing services.

Winterberry Group, New York, defines ATL marketing channels as branding efforts and mass media including television, radio, print advertising, outdoor advertising and yellow pages. It defines BTL marketing channels as targeted direct marketing efforts such as database marketing, direct mail, interactive marketing, insert media and promotional marketing.

According to the findings, BTL channels are projected to average 7.8 percent annual growth between 2003 and 2007 while ATL advertising is expected to grow an average of 5.5 percent yearly. Annual growth for the whole industry in that time is forecast at 6.9 percent.

In 2005, ATL spending was expected to grow 5.6 percent, 1.7 percentage points less than overall marketing spending. But it is forecast to grow 4.6 percent in 2007, 2.7 points less than overall expenditures.

The findings are based on analysis by Winterberry Group and secondary research materials from sources including the Direct Marketing Association, eMarketer, Forrester Research, JupiterResearch and Universal McCann. Based on its research, Winterberry Group listed seven trends facilitating the shift to BTL marketing:

· Changing consumer demographics decrease the influence of traditional mass media (i.e., "one-size-fits-all") marketing messages.

· Growing consumer sophistication heightens the demand for channel-agnostic communications.

· Widespread marketing "clutter" diminishes the impact of commercial messages that don't address specific and individually relevant consumer needs.

· Enhanced information availability empowers both marketers and consumers with insight that allows for precise customer targeting and intelligent purchase decisions.

· Heightened client pressure to deliver quantifiable value forces marketing services providers, especially agencies, to re-evaluate services platforms.

· Growing effectiveness of multichannel campaigns (those that cross multiple media) reinforce demand for tactics that establish one-to-one relationships between marketers and consumers.

· Rapid technological advances allow for consumer/marketer interactions that are frequent, easier and more relevant than previously possible.

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