Targeted media – informed by market research – to hit $272.5 billion by 2015

SEPTEMBER 30, 2011 – Advertisers seeking to get the most from their promotional efforts often choose to do targeted campaigns in order to reach relevant consumers, and market research can help them figure out who those people are.

That insight could not come at a better time, as a study from investment firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson shows targeted media is on pace to be the fastest-growing sector in the communications industry this year and over the 2010-2015 period. Thanks to the onset of mobile and internet services, in addition to branded entertainment segments, the category could increase at a 7.9 percent compound annual growth rate, hitting $272.5 billion by 2015.

“While there are instances of declines and decelerated growth – largely in the more traditional segments of the communications industry – there is a convergence taking place in which everything digital continues to gain greater influence, scope and relative revenue mix, neutralizing the general decline of traditional media,” stated John Suhler, the co-founder, president and general partner of VSS.

He added that targeted media and several other categories in the communications industry had been able to weather the economic downturn and would likely be able to continue that trend due to the continuing reliance on digital platforms and delivery, thus seeing “solid growth” over the upcoming months and years.

In 2010 alone, consumers increased the amount of time they spend on the internet 6 percent, with each person averaging 397 hours online between school, home and work, VSS researchers found. Mobile media usage also surged last year, jumping 49.7 percent to an average of 77 hours per person. Wireless media saw a major push thanks to smartphones and other mobile devices.

Targeted media alone is set to pull in $199.66 billion this year, drawing revenues from the “pure-play consumer internet and mobile services segment” as well as the “branded entertainment marketing” sector – such as product placement and consumer events.

Brands are working to use targeted marketing to increase their sales, and market research and online panels can help advertisers figure out the best way to do that. For example, car manufacturer Chrysler announced it would be launching a new Hispanic advertising campaign to advance Ram truck sales to Latino consumers. The company said in a statement it would be centering the ad launch on the “important values” of dedication, family commitment and hard work.