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Everyone's making room in the budget for direct marketing

Corporate advertising and sales executives are eager to ramp up their attention to direct marketing, and increasingly, they're finding that their companies' CFOs are willing to listen to their plans.

Recent research has indicated that companies' budgets for digital marketing are growing considerably, according to Direct Marketing News. The source drew upon the 2014 edition of Gartner's "Digital Marketing Spending" report, which shows a boom ahead for spending on Web-based marketing channels.

Gartner found that in 2013, companies spent an average of 11 percent of their annual revenues on digital marketing activities, but in 2014, that figure is expected to grow considerably - by 10 percent. The majority of business leaders - 54 percent - say they will increase their overall marketing budgets this year, while only 2 percent are anticipating a decrease.

Laura McLellan, research vice president at Gartner and author of the report, said in a statement that the rise of digital marketing strategies should be a huge boost to companies looking to improve their ability to connect with customers. It should be easier than ever to make a direct marketing play, given that there's plenty of money and data available for developing a profile of each individual patron.

"Customers have come to expect consistent experiences, no matter where an interaction initially takes place," McLellan said. "Hence, the increasing popularity of the role of the chief customer officer to help guide the customer right through the buying cycle and beyond."

One factor that's made direct marketing a more feasible strategy for so many companies is the growth of data enhancement. Now that corporate data scientists are able to add to the knowledge they already have about a given customer or demographic, businesses have access to more complete information that they can use to make better decisions.

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