Five Critical Changes You Should Make to Your 2012 Marketing Plan


Six  Dramatic Changes in the Performance of Traditional Media

Three months ago I delivered the first of a half dozen presentations to local small business groups recommending changes in their marketing plan for 2012. The ideas are driven primarily by dramatic changes we have seen in the last ten to twenty years in the performance of traditional forms of media.

Newspaper Daily circulation, which stood at 62.3 million in 1990, fell to 43.4 million in 2010, a decline of 30%. Sunday circulation held up slightly better, falling from 62.6 million in 1990 to 46.2 million last year, off 26% according to the Newspaper Association of America. In short your newspaper ad today is seen by at least 30% less potential customers for your product or service.

TV Television viewership has continued to decline and become more fragmented offering hundreds of channel choices. The latest Nielsen shows a 20% decline in viewership. 

Yellow Pages Yellow Pages usage has been dropping at a rate of 2 to 3% since 2004 and the decline escalated to 10 % a year in 2009 according to the independent Kelsey Group.

Mail  & Email – According to the annual Direct Marketing Association survey, the performance of mail has remained steady the last four years but the rented postal mailing list performance range from 0.5% to 1.0% is about half of what we saw twenty years ago. While Email sent to a house list can still be quite effective, it also has dropped in performance with an average 19.47% open rate, 6.64% click-through rate, 1.73% conversion rate and unsubscribe rate of 0.77%.

Website Online sales increased at least 10% a year since 2003 to $200 Billion in 2011. Broadband and database advancements have significantly expanded the information you can deliver on your website and in email.

Mobile – Today 87% of the world’s population are mobile subscribers and over half are equipped with smart phones. Almost 9% of all web site hits are generated from a mobile device and 25% of mobile web users are already mobile only users, who rarely use a desktop, laptop of tablet.

Five Critical Changes You Should Make to Your 2012 Marketing Plan

In light of the tremendous shifts we have experienced in traditional media performance, a change in direction in how any business spends their marketing budget is critical and in my opinion, should include:

  1. Replace current customer mailings, telephone and email campaigns with smaller more personalized messages. Create visual (graphics and photos) libraries and variable copy options to customize your message and offers to different prospect cells based on characteristics.
  2. Manage an Online Marketing campaign combining SEO, contextual advertising and content advertising as an integral part of your marketing plan.
  3. Research your top competitors every month on the Internet for new product/services and new offers.
  4. Make a serious commitment to regular quarterly e-newsletter from your business.
  5. Create a mobile version of your website and test usability on mobile phones and tablets.

Measure your results and adjust your plan quarterly.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Audience Targeting, Direct Mail, Email, Media, Mobile Marketing, Social Media

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2 Comments on “Five Critical Changes You Should Make to Your 2012 Marketing Plan”

  1. emorydigital Says:

    Great overview on the state of major media channels now vs. then.

    Reduced costs of advertising are the result of the downward shift in print circulation and broadcast impressions so be sure to take advantage of that. Just this morning while reading the local newspaper I noticed that over 50% of the front page section was advertising including many small businesses that never used print before.

    I also strongly recommend readers focus on how to integrate mobile and social media into their marketing mix for 2012. The more than 50% of cell phone users that have PDA’s are not just using them for Facebook-they are clicking on ads and buying from their favorite brands. Starbucks is a good example-my favorite mobile app knows my preferences and lets me pay for my caffeine fixes in the store with a swipe of the scanner…


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