Every year, Target Marketing conducts its Media Usage Survey. In this survey, the magazine asks how readers are allocating their budgets, which channels are increasing and decreasing, and which channels readers prefer for a variety of activities, including acquisition and retention.
While this survey is not projectable to marketers at large, it does give us critical insights into the larger trends. Let’s take a look at three trends you need to know.
1. Marketing is multichannel.
One of the biggest takeaways from the survey is how multichannel marketing has become. When it comes to acquisition, for example, 83% of respondents are using email, 69% are using social media, 68% are using online advertising, and 58% are using direct mail. This reinforces both the importance of print and the need to incorporate a variety of channels to hit targets wherever they are.
2. Print remains a critical channel.
The biggest growth is in digital channels like social media and mobile. However, print continues to hold its own—even grow—in its importance to companies’ overall marketing and branding efforts. According to the survey, Target Marketing readers plan to allocate 28.5% of their budgets to print this year. This includes spending on direct mail, magazines, newspapers, and circulars. This grows to 33.9% when you include space advertising like billboards and signage.
Direct mail, in particular, is on the rise. For acquisition, the percent of respondents using direct mail has risen from 54% to 58% between 2015 and 2016. For retention, the percentage using direct mail has risen from 51% to 55%.
3. Print delivers strong ROI.
When asked which marketing method delivers the strongest ROI, direct mail was also strong. For acquisition, 16.3% of readers thought direct mail delivered the strongest ROI of all channels. For retention, 14.6% thought it was the strongest. In both cases, direct mail was second only to email in terms of perceived strength.