6 Surprising Marketing Forecasts for 2009—Part 1
By Craig Huey, president of Creative Direct Marketing Group

2009 is all about shaking up the marketing industry as you know it. The recession will have far-reaching effects, but that’s not the only challenge that lies ahead. Here are the first six forecasts to help you prepare for the rest of the year.

Forecast #1: Businesses that continue to market during the recession will become very profitable and successful by 2010.

During the recession, some marketers will make a fatal or crippling decision to cut prospecting.

And the last five recessions point to one inescapable fact:

Those companies that continue to market will be more profitable and dominant in their categories in the next 12 to 18 months.

A McGraw Hill research study of recessionary marketing, which examined 600 companies over 5 years, revealed those that maintained or increased their advertising during a recession posted an average sales growth of 256%.

In the last recession, only 25% of companies increased their marketing. As a result, their average market share growth outpaced other businesses by 2.5 times.

Action Items:

• Use the best direct marketing possible. Know your cost-per-lead and cost-per-sale for every promotion. Know the lifetime value (LTV) of your customers. Without this data, you’re throwing your money away.

• Increase your database marketing for upselling, cross-selling and loyalty efforts. But never stop prospecting…otherwise it will set you back several years in lost opportunities.

Forecast #2: The recession will force smart marketers to upgrade their marketing with powerful direct response copy.

Direct response copy makes the difference between reaching your target and missing your mark.

Focus your messages with a clear Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and benefit-based “you”-oriented copy. Tell your prospects how you’re going to make their lives better. Overcome their skepticism with “preemptive” direct response copy that anticipates their objections.

If you do this effectively, your sales will rise even in an economic downturn. But you’ll lose sales if you use copy from a traditional advertising agency, or editorial copy.

Action Items:

• Review your current online and print materials. Make sure you’re using solid direct response copy, not anti-marketing copy written by editors, or an image ad agency.

Forecast #3: The Golden Age for paid search is over forever—and competition will heat up.

To beat the paid search competition this year, it’s important to use unique landing pages with distinct URLs for your paid searches. Your ad message must match your landing page header and body copy.

Also, manage your keyword program as a direct marketer using direct response techniques and principles. Ignoring proven techniques will lose you money.

Action Items:

• Put yourself in your prospects’ mindset when choosing keywords. Every month, 368,000 people search using “low price”…but over 20 million use “discount” and more than 100 million use “sale.” Check your terms on the Google Adwords keyword finder.

• Aggressively test and retest your paid search ads to make them more responsive. You must determine what’s driving response and what’s dragging it down.

Forecast #4: Retail advertisers will launch aggressive direct marketing campaigns to augment slowing in-store sales.

Now that all the Christmas promotions are over—and 2008’s seasonal sales did not match those of 2007—more retailers will turn to direct response.

The retailers that flourish will be those that do the following:

• Gather information on what their customers buy
• Create loyalty/rewards programs for their best customers
• Bring back past customers
• Communicate effectively and regularly by using direct response copy and art in mail and email

Borders uses direct response email marketing to drive online sales and store traffic among its core customers. Staples reports great success in reaching small business prospects with direct response email and Web campaigns.

Action Item:

• Experiment with different formats as part of a multichannel approach, from coupon postcards that push prospects to the web, to catalogs and magalogs. Watch your response skyrocket.

Forecast #5: Major paradigm shift: The informational marketing model will generate maximum response.

The average person sees an unbelievable 1,600 to 3,000 ads every single day. If that doesn’t seem possible to you, don’t forget to count how many email solicitations you (and your spam filter) delete daily.

The fact is, 2008 was a record spam year, and email response rates declined as a result. With this growing volume, people have become trained to filter out unwanted messages.

Integrating valuable information into your marketing materials is one surefire way to help your message get through—online and off. Why? Because consumers are looking for credibility, not sales hype.

When they receive information they want and need, they will keep reading…and they’ll view you as a credible authority.

Action Items:

• Make sure your prospect learns something in each mail and email communication you send. That creates value…and it earns you the right to send another message. For example, a nutritional supplement company could include articles with health tips.

• You can also boost email delivery by instructing recipients to add your “from” address to their safe senders list.

Forecast #6: The “classic” Internet homepage is officially obsolete.

Studies show homepages are stagnant billboards that depress response. In 2009, your business should be using micro-sites and landing pages, which are sites that generate leads or sales for one product.

These pages have powerful sales copy that motivates your prospect to act—and they don’t have navigation distractions.

In other words, homepages are anti-marketing; landing pages are direct marketing.

Action Items:

• If your company sells many products, give each its own site with tailored direct response copy that maximizes your SEO or paid search success. Make sure each one has its own URL.

Also, your microsite should have limited (or zero) navigation options. It should use only direct response copy and graphics to guide the prospect toward action.

These are the first six marketing forecasts for what’s on the horizon for 2009. Check back next month for the remaining six!

---Source: Craig Huey is the president of Creative Direct Marketing Group (CDMG), a direct response agency. Reach him at or 310-212-5727.










Melissa Data

Enhance your website, software or database with easy-to-integrate data quality programming tools and web services.

Save money on postage using leading mail preparation software and other direct marketing products.

Update & standardize addresses and find out more about contacts in your database.


Find new customers perfect for your business with our online and specialty mailing lists.

Locate the business information you need such as ZIP Codes, address verification, maps.

Melissa Data Catalog - Your partner in data quality

your free copy of the Melissa Data product catalog.


Follow us on:

Facebook           Twitter


Article Library | Direct Mail | Copywriting | Data Quality | eMail | Case Studies | Technical | Postal
Marketing Strategies | Internet & Web | Industry News | Subscript to Newsletters