Although our economic recovery may still seem fragile, the U.S. economy is projected to grow by 2 - 2.3% in 2012, which on the surface may not seem like much but, in fact, represents a substantial increase from the meager 1.6% GDP growth in 2011.  And as our economy strengthens, North American ad spending is expected to increase by 3.6% to $171 billion in 2012, with digital and social advertising leading the way:

  • Online display ad spending will increase by 12%
  • Paid search ads will increase by 13%
  • Social ad spending is projected to increase by 37%

Despite the steady decrease in print advertising, where newspaper and magazine ad spending is expected to see declines of 8% and3% respectively, direct mail continues to hold its own with a projected increase of 3% in 2012.

That’s encouraging news for advertisers and the economy in general and particularly good news for those of us who use measurable media to promote and sell our products and services.  Tough economic times demand even tougher requirements for advertising performance and the integration of direct mail with email, microsites and social media networks, continues to rise to the occasion of producing better, more definable ROI than traditional advertising – something digital marketers can attest to with confidence.

Social media channels allow advertisers to leverage their investment in traditional media (like direct mail), where an offer or promotion sent to an individual customer or prospect is extended to thousands of friends and family members, simply by that individual posting it to their preferred social media site.  Just think about the low-cost, incremental sales produced by linking offers from direct mail to social media networks and how quickly those transactions can build your revenues.  And because all of that activity is tracked and reported on, an added bonus to advertisers is that they are simultaneously building a database of primary brand advocates (those customers extending your offer to their friends) AND of new “unsolicited” customers, acquired through social media channels. That translates to a bigger bang for your advertising dollar.