Companies that are squeezed on costs in early 2008 still seem determined to roll lots of dough into online advertising, like search engine optimization, Google-AdWords-type paid search software, and online referrals.

According to Information Week, the global online ad market is projected to rise to $50 billion in 2011, up from $25 billion in 2007.

But a new study from the UK-based Fournaise Marketing Group says that most companies, especially smaller ones, still rank direct marketing as the number one medium for marketing effectiveness in 2007 and 2008.

The report – the Global Marketing Effectiveness Report -- says that, among corporate marketing executives, direct marketing DM is considered to be the most effective medium – topping the 2007 marketing Effectiveness Ranking (or EFFER), according to Fournaise.
More specifically, the reports reveals that . . .
  1. DM ranked ahead despite five online media platforms surging into the EFFER’s top 10 (email, paid search advertising, online referrals, online display advertising and online rich media) alongside traditional stalwarts like public relations, newspapers, TV and outdoor;
  2. Movie theater, online endorsements and online sponsorship ranked last and are in danger of being dropped by marketers if they are not able to deliver better results when it comes to engaging with the target audiences marketers are going after – proof that not all traditional and online media platforms are judged to be effective.

“If you listen to the industry hype, it’s all about online advertising (and emerging mobile advertising). If you check where marketing budgets are mostly spent, it’s still all about traditional media such as TV and newspapers. But when it comes down to effectiveness, while it may not be the most glamorous and talked-about medium, marketers are telling us DM is still the best platform for delivering results,” says Jerome Fontaine, CEO and Chief Tracker at Fournaise.

Hey, it's not sexy and it's not glamorous. But even in an economic downturn, where company decision makers are throwing nickels around like manhole covers, direct marketing won't go away.

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William Dorn

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