As consumers continue to change their behaviors, so do marketing managers. Are we losing our confidence in traditional marketing methods? Why are so many companies shifting their focus to online media in 2009?

You don’t need to look far to realize “the numbers walk the walk.” Marketing pros in the know are adding email and other digital media in ever-increasing numbers. What are the trends? More importantly, what works?

The Trends

Marketing insiders are well aware of the trends confirmed in Robert Coen’s “Insider’s Report” (a presentation on advertising expenditures published December 2008). Less ad spend in traditional media and more online.

Lee Odden provides additional confirmation of the trends and links to several reports such as the following:

Direct Marketing to Account for 53% of U.S. Ad Spend in 2009 Growth for Interactive Marketing:  ”Expenditures in the newer online media will maintain significant growth in the coming year. Commercial email will continue to claim the top growth ranking for 2009, while internet advertising will claim more than 15% of all direct marketing advertising dollars in 2009.” DMA Power of Direct Marketing’ Report (read Lee’s full post here on the Online Marketing Blog)

There are numerous indications confirming expenditures in online media will maintain significant growth in 2009. But what works?

What Works?

Email marketing claims the top growth ranking; for good reason. Staying in touch with your existing clients is key to survival and the best way to do just that is email. Not SPAM, email tactics that deliver useful information for the receiver. Using your blog RSS feed strategically is an example for those that know how to promote content. Also, social networks are now picking up feeds and promoting your company for you. LinkedIn realized how important feeds are and they now offer applications that will post your feed on your LinkedIn profile.

Email newsletters are also important but many fail at them. Why? Lack of focus, lack of resources to manage a viable list (email database) and substandard design & content. Putting out an effective email newsletter isn’t rocket science but it does require a commitment to quality.