A Forrester Research study — “Direct Marketers: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is” — reveals that while direct marketers expect the effectiveness of Web, email, and mobile marketing to increase dramatically over the next few years, they are not planning to increase spending in these areas.

Forrester, which carried out the survey in cooperation with the Federation of European Direct & Interactive Marketing (FEDMA), believes that this caution is a mistake; direct marketers should be prepared to align their spending with media effectiveness, if only to gain experience. Direct marketers currently spend just under half of their budgets on new media. The study also found that direct marketers in Europe are increasing their budgets by only 3% in 2005 compared with 2004.

“European direct marketers can¿t stop now.” states Jaap Favier, VP and Research Director at Forrester Research. “Internet and email campaigns bring good ROI. Big brands like Nike and L’Oréal have advertised first on the mobile and Web channel to understand the impact of the commercial and who watches it before approving mainstream broadcasts ¿ thus raising their returns.”

The study touches on the growing phenomenon of integrated marketing — a key research topic for Forrester and central to another recent report “The Marketing Technology Backbone;” this looks at the technology infrastructure or framework needed to support an integrated approach to marketing strategy, development, delivery, and measurement across the marketing mix. According to Forrester, successful multichannel campaigns integrate the different media. However, choosing the right mix of marketing channels requires a rigorous approach. Marketers and planners need to consider the pros and cons of each medium ¿ and, in particular, the right combination. A smart marketer doesn’t set his media mix at the start of a year but makes an educated decision for each individual campaign, based on the target audience’s media mix, the message, and the campaign’s objective.

Commenting on the findings, Alastair Tempest, Director General of FEDMA, said “Direct marketing is changing rapidly. FEDMA is delighted to have been involved in this research, which we hope will encourage direct marketers to review their media mix to produce truly innovative, creative campaigns. Evidence shows that electronic communications are becoming increasingly popular, for example in France, as a means of distance selling, as well for retaining or finding new customers.”

Forrester conducted an online survey of European direct marketers in cooperation with the Federation of Direct and Interactive Marketing (FEDMA). We pulled our respondents — marketing practitioners at companies or marketing agencies — from the member databases of national Direct Marketing Associations in Europe and surveyed them via email or newsletter. Forrester fielded the survey in May and June 2004 and motivated respondents with a free copy of the results. We made the data representative by weighting it on national direct marketing spending relative to Europe’s total direct marketing spending. The sample includes 124 direct marketers who work in a company and 220 direct marketers who work for a marketing agency.