In January of 2010, Bruce Biegel of the Winterberry Group gave his predictions for 2010 to the Direct Marketing Club of New York. I thought it would be interesting to do a first quarter check-in to see if what I’m seeing in the marketplace is representative of his predictions.
In general, I’d have to give Bruce an “A.” I’ve excerpted some of his major findings and listed what I’ve observed in the marketplace, which may or may not be indicative of other marketers:
- Marketing budgets will be higher in 2010 but not until August 2010. I’ve seen marketing budgets up in the first quarter, which may be due to the oft-practiced “use it or lose it” philosophy of marketers.
- There has been a fundamental shift in direct and digital channels. Print, direct mail and broadcast were all down in 2009, while digital spending is up. This shift is likely to continue in 2010 based on what I’ve seen in the first quarter. Direct mail, while still a $44 billion industry, will never be the same.
- Direct and digital spending in three verticals will recover. Last year, the credit card, mortgage and auto verticals were dramatically hit by the recession. I’m seeing more interest this year, if not actual dollars, in these verticals.
- Marketing suppliers will focus on cross-channel execution platforms, targeting and analytics. This prediction is right on the money and where most of the action is in the first quarter.
- Digital marketing spend will slow as marketers adapt to the changing world. Biegel predicted that spending on social media, mobile and email would all be up for the year, but the rate of increase would be less than in 2009. I personally haven’t seen it abating; if anything, it looks like it’s proceeding at last year’s pace.
- Marketing analytics platforms and online lead generation are two areas of hot technology growth. I’m seeing a lot of interest in social media monitoring and listening technologies. It won’t be long until merging online and offline data takes center stage.
- Other key predictions such as the growth of mobile, the death of the digital agency and the end of the recession are looking to hold true. Agencies, marketing suppliers, technology firms and direct marketers are all merging. It’s happening quickly!
Good job, Bruce. Speaking for most marketers, l hope these trends will continue to prove true as they are welcome changes from 2009.
About the Author: