Key Insights from Winterberry Group’s 2016 Outlook

By Mitchell Eisenberg on January 18, 2016

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Mitchell Eisenberg

SVP, General Counsel & Data Compliance Officer


Each New Year brings a new focus on “what’s hot”. For consumer products, it’s the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. For retailers, it’s The Big Show in New York. And for direct and digital marketers, it’s Winterberry Group’s 2016 Annual Outlook, hosted by the Direct Marketing Club of New York. (Shameless plug: Alliant is a proud sponsor!)

On January 14th, Winterberry Group Managing Director Bruce Biegel gave his 7th annual presentation on the key trends from the closing year and a prediction of what’s to come. As always, Bruce’s talk was enlightening and thought-provoking. As the first quarter unfolds, consider these key points from the Bruce’s session and how they could transform your plans for 2016.

Data Remains the Lifeblood of Marketing
81.3% of marketing practitioners say data is critical to their efforts. In the U.S., the buying, selling and renting of data is now an $11.6 billion enterprise. Direct mail commands $9.40 billion of this market, email captures $1.07 billion and online display, $1.16 billion and growing fast.

Take-away — In 2016, make data a priority and empower your team to continuously improve your strategies and efficiencies.

Data Geeks are the New Mad Men
Surprisingly, three of the top five digital ad agencies are not “Madison Avenue” shops. They are business consulting firms that bring data, analytics and creative together for their clients. Smart brands (and their marketing and ad tech partners) are connecting creative, targeting and tracking technologies for better insight and customer engagement.

Take-away — Ensure the marketing partners you work with leverage data and analytics to power your growth objectives.

A Channel Agnostic Approach to Data Analysis is Paramount
Data onboarding and analytics to support triggered marketing activity is hot. And the intersection of consumer browsing behavior and multichannel transaction-based purchase data provides the a gold mine of insight.

Take-away — Find innovative ways of integrating online and offline transactional data to improve the precision and performance of your consumer targeting.  

Data Modeling Is Pushing Digital Boundaries
In 2015, traditional media spend increased just 0.1%. However, digital and direct spending combined grew 8%, and digital alone grew 19.2%. This is news to no one – but the headline is that more and more digital media targeting decisions are now driven by behavioral and transactional data models (yep, just like direct mail).

Take-away — Make 2016 the year you adopt the predictive power of data modeling to increase profitability in your digital marketing campaigns.

Coming off a year of tremendous growth in marketing spend – and increased opportunities in programmatic buying, data-driven marketers have a lot to be excited about. The challenge is dealing with the variety, speed and volume of data — and analyzing all of it in real-time. This is where savvy businesses are investing. And we’ll have a New Year toast to that.

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