Archive for the ‘Direct Marketer’ Category

Has Direct Mail Marketing Peaked?

March 9, 2009

Will the Direct Mail industry not follow the same life and death cycle (obsolescence) trajectory its cousins  in the Newspaper industry are presently grappling with?

Has print as an advertising medium not peaked?

If a report released today is any indication of future of direct mail marketing – then the answer is: Yes.

Few media if any who have seen their sales contract since the birth of the internet have also been fortunate enough to see their sales reach new highs let alone return to their historical norms after shrinking.

The same will hold true for the Direct Mail industry.

As with newspapers, when marketers’ dollars are ultimately redeployed they will be done so within media that meets marketers ever exacting needs for measurably higher returns on investment.

Absent some type of innovation in buyer audience targeting and delivery – direct mail like its newsprint cousin; as an advertising medium – has officially reached its peak.

Print – albeit the ultimate form of personalized communication – simply has too many inexpensive digital competitors willing to carry the same advertising message for 1/10 the cost.

When marketing dollars do return they will go where they have the greatest probability of earning a return on their investment –  online.

According to a new report from the Winterbury Group via eMarketer:

For the first time since direct mail began to be tracked in 1945, figures show that both direct mail spending and volume declined sharply in 2008.

According to “A Channel in Transformation: Vertical Market Trends in Direct Mail 2009,” from the Winterberry Group, US direct mail spending fell nearly 3% last year.

Spending dropped from $58.4 billion in 2007 to $56.7 billion in 2008.

Direct Mail Drop

Direct Mail Drop

Winterberry also projects that direct mail spending will fall another 8% to 9% this year.

Additionally, Mintel Comperemedia found that the volume of direct mail among the leading vertical industries fell an average of 12.1% in 2008.

Direct Mail Growth

Direct Mail Growth

From Mintel Comperemedia:

“Direct mail volumes declined dramatically—even more precipitously than the falloff in spending, in fact—as mailers sought to integrate more precise targeting methodologies, production efficiencies and other value focused initiatives in an attempt to cut costs and preserve the economic return of their mail programs,” Winterberry analysts wrote in the report. “Direct mail has seen its influence as a high-volume, mass-oriented response driver all but vanish.”

Reasons for the drop in direct mail were rising costs in postage, labor and production while the financial services industry crisis also contributed to the contractions in both volume mailed and the amount spent on direct mail.

Increased postage, labor and production costs compared with near frictionless digital delivery and its lower labor and production costs will continue to make digital media marketing and advertising the choice of cost and performance conscious marketers over direct mail.

… which are the reasons why Direct Mail Marketing has peaked.

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Search Advertising Geo Targeting Options

October 3, 2008

If targeting local and mobile search advertising is the future growth drivers for search advertising providers, then Google and its Adwords geo-targeting features are in the driver’s seat when compared to its three closest search advertising rivals Yahoo, Microsoft and Ask.com.

Below I outline each providers’ offerings not according to their search advertising market share but instead according to their level of geotargeted advertising product development.

Google’s advertising product and its geo-targeting capabilities have one distinct yet obvious feature the other’s lack:

An actual map for geo-targeting the location of your ads and where they will be shown!

Google Search Advertising Country Geotargeting

Google Search Advertising Country Geotargeting

With Google Adwords, advertisers can target their ads one country at a time through Google’s Country Geotargeting tab, or choose to bundle their ads for display in multiple countries at once with Adwords Bundle Geotargeting feature.

Google Search Advertising Bundle Geotargeting

Google Search Advertising Bundle Geotargeting

Google Search Advertising Bundle Geotargeting

Google Search Advertising Metro Geotargeting

Google Search Advertising Metro Geotargeting

Google Adwords advertisers who advertise in specific markets nationally or regionally can target their ads by metropolitan area or by city.

Although not referenced, Google’s metropolitan area targeting looks slightly similar to the Designated Market Area system developed by Nielsen Media Research which incorporates Nielsen’s broadcast media markets and distribution scheme.

For its City geotargeting option, Google surrounds the target city with a square.

Google Search Advertising Custom Geotargeting

Google Search Advertising Custom Geotargeting

Google custom geotargeting by far provides the highest level of geotargeting available from any search advertising provider.

Custom geotargeting lets advertisers create their own custom advertising distribution area within any market.

Google search advertisers can simply point and click three or more points on their advertising map and Google does the rest for them – creating a custom advertising distribution area through latitude and longitude coordinates.

How do the other search advertising providers’ geo-targeting features stack up compared with Google’s?

Yahoo and Ask both offer advertising geo-targeting options but both to a lesser degree.

Yahoo Search Advertising Geotargeting

Yahoo Search Advertising Geotargeting

Yahoo offers geotargeting to it advertisers by account market area and specific regions. Account market area is established by the advertising account holder when the open their account. Both account market area and specific region areas are organized by country, state, province or territory.

The Yahoo specific region feature geotargets its advertising through the Designated Market Areas system licensed from Nielsen Media Research.

Yahoo Search Advertising Geotargeting Mapview

Yahoo Search Advertising Geotargeting Mapview

Where is the Yahoo Search Advertising Geotargeting Map?

Yahoo offers a Map View tab of specific regions geotargeted by its advertisers yet I haven’t ever been able to view an actual Yahoo map showing where my advertising has been geo-targeted and placed.

I can’t imagine why Yahoo search marketing would place a “Map View” tab in their Campaign settings geo-targeting page yet not actually provide a map view.

Ask Search Advertising Geotargeting

Ask Search Advertising Geotargeting

Ask provides its advertisers with Location targeting which is also based on Nielsen’s Designated Market Area system.

Ask doesn’t provide a map showing advertisers locations of their geo-targeted advertising.

However, and to its credit – Ask does provide a geotargeting feature direct marketers like myself would like to see from other search advertising providers like Google Adwords – Postal Code targeting.

Postal Code Targeting or Zip Code targeting here in the US would allow direct marketers and brands alike another level of advertising targeting, delivery and thus control.
At this point you may be wondering why I chose to cover Microsoft’s adCenter search advertising geotargeting product last even though it has a larger share of the search market than Ask.

Why have I listed Microsoft’s advertising geotargeting product development last?

Because Microsoft’s search advertising product does not offer its advertisers geotargeting options let alone any other kind of geographic ad targeting.

Microsoft Search Advertising Geotargeting

Microsoft Search Advertising Geotargeting

Will Microsoft ever offer advertising geo-targeting features to its advertisers?

If not, why?

Direct Marketing Google Map Mashups

September 13, 2006

Google global search traffic patterns over a twenty four hour period.

Here are three of my favorite resources for making your own Google maps.

Google Maps Mania

Map Builder – build your own maps.

Huge Maps Mapping Programs – great for marketers – types of maps include:

Zip Code Boundaries Maps
Town and City Boundaries Maps
County Boundaries Maps
Core Based Statistical Area Maps
Reverse Geocoding – converts a latitude and longitude coordinate into an address

Geocoding – address conversion into lat and long coordinates