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Web 2.0 is paving the way for integrating direct and brand marketing, enabling real-time dialog with?customers?and the joint?creation of?content that increases and improves brand awareness and perception, and generates sales and leads, according to a new report.

The “New Media Emergence in DM & Brand” report from the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) investigates Web 2.0 – including blogs, virtual words, social networks, user-generated content, RSS feeds, and Wikis – as the platform that converges all marketing.

Eugenia Steingold, Ph.D., DMA’s senior research manager, authored the report, which examines how new media is being used for brand building and direct marketing, and investigates the possibilities of new media for integrating DM and brand.

New-media elements most use by Web 2.0 direct marketers for DM are (in order)?blogs, online video, user-generated content and social networks:

dma-web20-use-for-dm.jpg

Other key findings from the study of B2B and B2C DM marketers who use Web 2.0:

  • Despite being relatively new, Web 2.0 is apparently recognized as a brand-building channel:
    • 84% of respondents use it to raise brand awareness.
    • 82% use Web 2.0 tools to increase brand preference.
  • ?New media is used for direct marketing as much as it is for brand building:
    • 83% use Web 2.0 to generate sales.
    • 80% use it to generate leads.
  • Most marketers realize the opportunities that new media create for integrating DM and brand:
    • 85% of respondents use Web 2.0 to engage their customers and rate it as a highly effective mechanism for customer engagement (average rating is 5.3)
    • 84% of our respondents use Web 2.0 to create a community of loyal customers, and they find it very effective for doing so (the average rating is 5.0).

Other findings:

  • 82% of respondents allocated a quarter or less of their marketing budget toward Web 2.0.
  • 70% of those who report that they are experts in interactive marketing also allocate about a quarter of their budget to Web 2.0.

As a complement to the report, DMA is hosting a virtual seminar, “Using New Media – The Link Between DM & Brand,” on Wednesday, May 7.

About the study: in January 2008, DMA deployed an online survey to it target audience, including B2B and B2C direct marketers who use Web 2.0 as part of their marketing strategies, and specifically strive to integrate DM and Brand. The survey was closed for tabulation in late February 2008 and obtained data from 160 respondents who completed the survey.

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