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Survey: Marketing Budgets Soar!

Every year, Target Marketing surveys its readership to identify trends for the upcoming marketing year. This year, its “2019 Marketing Budget Survey” found that a whopping 10x more marketing budgets are increasing for 2019 than decreasing. Great news! That’s the kind of commitment that gets results.

Here’s how the data on respondents’ budgets broke out:

• 60% increasing
• 31% staying the same
• 6% decreasing
• 3% not sure

As part of its survey, Target Marketing also identified three top marketing trends that all marketers, whether digital or traditional (or both), need to know.

1. More money is going to tech and data.

Marketers’ highest spend is going for media and other outreach (28%) and personnel (20%). That’s to be expected, but this year, they take up less than half of marketers’ budgets overall. Technology, consumer data/data management, and metrics/performance measurement combined to account for 42% of spending overall. Data is the foundation of good marketing, and marketers’ budgets are reflecting that.

2. Marketing is moving from push to pull.

Channels that use pull marketing (social media, online video, content marketing) are growing faster than those that push (email). Social media advertising (59%), online video (54%), and content marketing (53%) are the fastest growing media channels. As you integrate digital media into your marketing efforts, make sure you are incorporating channels that pull, as well as push.

3. Marketers still demand conversions.

When it comes to grading performance, conversion metrics win the most favor for budgeting. As you justify your 2019 marketing budget to the higher-ups, focus on metrics that reflect conversions. Select metrics such as sales, lead generation, and sign-ups that prove that you are getting those conversions, however you define them.

Why Some Personalized Mailings Just Work Better

When it comes to increasing response and conversion rates, personalized communications are a powerful tool. However, don’t think that all personalization is equal. It isn’t. To get great results, you must use the right variables with the right audience in the right way.

Response rates for personalized mailings can vary widely. One study found response rates ranging from 6% to 75%, with an average of 21%. These are some eye-catching numbers, but why is the range so wide? To understand the variation and set realistic expectations for your own campaigns, it’s helpful to ask specific questions.

• What type of campaign was it? Customer acquisition? Customer retention?

• What kind of list did you use? Highly targeted, moderately targeted, or undifferentiated lists will yield different results.

• Did recipients have a previous relationship with your company? Or are you using a prospect list?

• What is the value of the product? Are you marketing a webinar or selling a Tesla?

• Did per-order value go up with personalization, and if so, by how much? A “low” response rate combined with a high per-order value will often net you better ROI than a high response rate with low per-order value.

• How are you measuring success? Response rates? Conversion rates? Cost per lead? Average sale? Each measurement tells a different story.

The answers to such questions can have a dramatic impact on understanding ROI. So before setting your expectations for your next personalized mailing, talk to us about your goals, expectations, and the data you are working with. Setting realistic expectations is a critical component to making your 1:1 print program a success.

Don't Let Print Buying Stress You Out

Does print buying stress you out? There are so many details that can make or break a print job. Then you have finishing, mailing lists, dealing with the USPS. . . . and oh, yes, schedules. Print buying can be a daunting task. Try these common sense strategies to make your experience more predictable and (hopefully) stress-free.

1. Get into our ears. By involving us early in your project, you will get a high quality result while saving time and money. Tell us your concept, then we will suggest colors, papers, layouts, and finishes that can minimize production time at the best cost.

Plan backwards. Given today’s advances in printing technology, buyers often underestimate the time required to deliver a job. Sure, we may be printing on a digital press, but you still have prepress, proofing, special order requirements, and finishing. Providing ample lead time will save money by preventing rush charges.

Know your specs. The more explicit your instructions, the more likely you are to be happy with the quality and cost of the end product. One missing piece of information or last-minute change can delay a cost estimate, proof, or final production.

Proof everything. We will alert you if we identify errors in your file, but we aren’t experts in your marketing copy—you are. Your print job cannot move into the next stage of production until you sign off on the proof, and that includes your copy.

Even if you do not have a job to submit today, give us a call so we can start preplanning your next project. Together, we can create a stress-free print buying experience that will exceed your expectations for quality, efficiency, and cost.

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