Old and New Are in the Marketing Mix

There is no doubt that the face of marketing is changing as new media and communications methods evolve and mature. While attendees visiting the Marketing Pavilion and Marketers’ Lounge (Booth 4046) at GRAPH EXPO 2011 will be able to learn about the emerging marketing trends, they will also find information on some tried-and-true marketing methods. The Chicago Chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA) is the co-sponsor of the Marketing Pavilion, and a recent AMA survey tracked the changing approaches marketers are taking in their campaigns.

When respondents were asked what areas would be getting greater emphasis, social media was by far the top choice at 80%. Mobile media was second at 60%, while blogs, email campaigns, marketing automation, search engine marketing, webcasts, public relations, and grassroots promotions each garnered between 50% and 59%. These findings make it obvious that new marketing methods are becoming more popular and will be more heavily emphasized in the future.

The survey also asked what areas will receive less emphasis. Here newspapers (34%) and consumer magazines (30%) were the top vote getters. Radio (25%), trade magazines (24%), and television (22%) were the next in line. However, only 13% indicated they planned less emphasis on direct marketing.

That should be of particular interest to printers because a major component of any direct marketing effort is direct mail, and even in this age of electronic communications, direct mail has its place because it is both effective and versatile.

Contrary to what one might think, direct mail advertising still has room for growth and is expected to reach $25 billion by 2015. That sounds counterintuitive in the age of electronic communications, but there is a reason for it. Marketers are moving from mass advertising to more targeted and more local advertising, and direct mail fits neatly into this effort.

In today’s digital world, each and every printed piece, be it a postcard, bill, envelope, or brochure, can be personalized and targeted. This is partly because of the capabilities of today’s digital output devices and partly because of the increasing skill levels and improving technologies for constructing and maintaining databases. Moreover, marketers can and do use print to drive traffic online.

The U.S. Postal Service reports that a survey of some 6,400 online shoppers found that those receiving printed catalogs shopped more online and spent more quality time at retail websites than those who did not receive a printed catalog. This held true regardless of the age, income, region, or education of the respondent.

Another study found that customers’ brains engage longer and more positively with mail marketing messages than with digital ones. In any case, it is obvious that despite the changes in the world of marketing and the emergence of new marketing methods, there is still plenty of room for print in the mix.