A Guide to Competitive Media

RAB's new Competitive Media section gives you complete access to the latest information profiling 10 competitive media. Each profile contains a complete whitepaper as well as the advantages, disadvantages and plus Radio for each medium.

This section also gives you the option to build custom media profiles reflecting specific talking points in a colorful, street-ready one sheet.

Direct Marketing

  • U.S. direct and digital advertising spending increased 2.7% to $154.4 billion in 2010, according to a study by the Winterberry Group. For 2011, direct and digital ad spending is predicted to grow 6.2% to $163.9 billion. (Winterberry Group, 2011)

    Direct mail spending grew 3.1% in 2010, and accounted for $45.2 billion of direct and digital ad spending in 2010. Direct mail is expected to grow 5.8% in 2011, to $47.8 billion. (Winterberry Group, 2011)

    In addition to direct mail, spending attributed to the other segments of the direct marketing industry in 2010 (totals in billions): Direct response print, $15.0; direct response broadcast, $23.6; digital, $27.7; teleservices, $39.5; insert media, $0.8; other, $2.6. (Winterberry Group, 2011)

    Of the $27.7 billion spent on digital advertising in 2010, Search accounted for $15.6 billion of the total and Display accounted for $9.3 billion, while E-mail claimed $1.4 billion. (Winterberry Group, 2011)

    Based on research by the National Mail Order Association, the categories of Food, Gardening, Gifts, and Health & Beauty typically have the highest direct mail response rates. (National Mail Order Association, 2011)

    In 2010, an investment of $1 in direct marketing expenditures was predicted to return, on average, $11.73 in incremental revenue. (Direct Marketing Association, 2011)

    Response rates to direct mail have held steady over the past several years. Letter-sized envelopes, for instance, had a 2010 response rate of 3.42% for an in-house list and 1.38% for a prospect list. (Direct Marketing Association, 2011)

    Credit card companies mailed out approximately 2.50 billion card offers in 2010, up from 1.39 billion in 2009. (Synovate Mail Monitor, 2011)

    More than 80% of U.S. households read some or all of their advertising mail. (Direct Marketing Association, 2011)

    Forty-nine percent of e-mail marketers find that a mid-day (10 AM to 2 PM) blast produces the highest ROI. (Direct Marketing Association, 2011)

  • Targetability: With direct mail, an advertiser can target potential customers by geographical area, product affinity, previous purchases, and potential interest based on accumulated or purchased databases.

    Reach: The medium potentially can reach every household in the market, or at least every consumer the marketer wishes to target, usually through mail-merge options where multiple advertisers are combined in a single envelope or package.

    Maintenance: Direct mail can be helpful in building and reinforcing existing consumer relationships through personalized mailings.

    Tracking: The response rate is easily measured, and can be tracked through coupon redemption and return-card/call-back options.

    Precision: Direct mail allows an advertiser to convey highly detailed information about their product or service, as well as deliver product samples for consumers to try.

  • Low Response Rates: With an average response rate of just over 2%, most of the people you market to will reject or ignore your offer.

    Attention: When consumers actually do read their direct mail, they tend to read mailings from advertisers they know and like.

    New Customers: Direct mail is less effective in attracting prospects than in reinforcing existing customers. For any business whose future depends on expanding its consumer base, this is a significant liability.

    Consumer Perception: Most consumers refer to direct mail as "junk mail" – and they have an even lower opinion of the most cost-efficient mail-merge packages that combine pieces from a number of different advertisers in one envelope.

    Outdated Mailing Lists: Even among consumers who are not actively trying to have their names stricken from direct mail's rolls, there are many who move each year, making it difficult for direct-mail companies to identify and maintain accurate databases.

    Declining Couponing: Time-crunched consumers are not clipping and redeeming coupons the way they once did, reducing the impact and trackability of many direct marketing campaigns.

    Growing Expense: Ongoing increases in postal rates, paper costs, production charges, and database fees could turn direct mail into one of the least cost-efficient of all media.

  • Intrusive: Radio is linear, where consumers listen through commercials, unlike direct mail that quickly gets discarded after little more than reading a headline – if it is even opened. Only one commercial is heard at a time on Radio, drawing attention to that one advertiser. How do you get people to open the direct mail they usually discard? By augmenting your marketing strategy with Radio to call attention to your mailings, and precondition recipients to the benefits of reading and responding to your direct mail offers.

    Creates Brands: Radio generates new customers by branding an advertiser. Radio, with its reach and frequency, develops an image for the advertiser.

    Personal Connection: The Radio Ad Lab (RAL) in its study called "Personal Connections, Personal Relevance" shows how consumers connect with radio. Consumers listen to a station because they enjoy it, unlike the “junk” perception associated with direct mail.

Other Competitive Media Resources

In this section, you'll find links to information profiling media OTHER than radio. Below are links to Weekly Sales Meetings, Whitepapers, special reports and other articles that you can use to help your advertisers understand the important role of Radio in supporting ANY marketing effort.

Please make your selection from the lists below and don't forget, you can always call RAB's Member Response Helpline at 1-800-232-3131 for more information.