Bright Spots for E-marketing Amid Worries

Today’s New York Times confirms what a lot of us have been expecting to hear for a long time. The economy is going south and consumers are starting to feel the pinch. With gas at $3.00 a gallon and the price of oil at $100 a barrel, it was only a matter of time before the economy would take center stage in people’s lives. Not only is that happening, it’s about to transform the election, which is also coincidentally on the Times front page.

It feels to me a lot like when we started Patron Technology in 2001. The economy was terrible. And the more it was terrible, the more e-marketing made sense. I think that’s why e-mail marketing in particular is about to see tremendous growth. In fact, last week eMarketer reported a study that suggests that e-mail marketing spending will roughly double between now and 2012. The article also points out that that number is somewhat understated, because the absolute costs of e-mail are negligible compared with most other marketing tactics.


The other article that caught my eye was the annual ritual of describing how the online medium fared during the holiday season. As it turns out, no records were broken. With about a 19% increase, online spending was ahead of last year, but it wasn’t a record-breaker increase. That said, all *other* kinds of consumer retailing suffered losses. Retail spending at stores and over the phone suffered declines, not increases. So again, online marketing and retailing is a star.


It may be that we’re in for another recession and non-profits will feel the belt tighten at donation time and in ticket sales. If that’s so, I’ll return to the mantra of 2001. If marketing resources are going to be scarce, the best thing to do is measure your ROI for each marketing activity very carefully. Doing the "same old, same old" isn’t an option. And I’m pretty sure when you analyze how your online efforts are faring, you’ll see a lot of what’s been going on nationally reflected in your own results.

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