British Direct Marketing Defies Adspend Slowdown

03 July 2002

Britain's Direct Marketing Association this week publishes its annual Census of the Direct Marketing Industry for the period 2001-2002, spotlighting the industry’s immunity to the negative trend affecting other marketing channels.

According to the DMA, Albion’s direct marketers scored a 10% across-the-board increase in 2001 with spend hitting a new high of £11.14 billion ($17.03bn; €17.32bn).

Much of the increase is attributable to the soaraway 185% growth of emarketing (to £450m)and its knock-on effect on telemarketing.

As DMA managing director James Kelly observes: “The new-media side of the industry continued to grow, albeit at a less meteoric rate than that recorded in the 2000-2001 Census. Such steady growth looks set to continue as new-media platforms become more widely available, increasing the consumer's familiarity and trust of the channel.”

Other notable data from the Census are:

New Media
Estimates for expenditure in new media have increased the most over the last year (by 185%) totalling £450million in 2001. This is certainly a conservative figure that proves the degree to which interactive media continue to become an integral part of the direct marketing mix and the everyday exchange between companies and their customers. We expect this area to continue to show strong growth as new platforms and formats become more widely available.

has also shown strong growth in 2001. This is partly a reflection of call centres becoming contact centres and also dealing with email communications. However, the continuing popularity of the telephone as a customer service medium with consumers has ensured that for the majority of the population, this remains the contact method of choice when dealing with companies.

Direct Mail/ Door-to-Door
The core direct marketing media of direct mail and door-to-door have also shown healthy increases in 2001 despite the increased competition from expanding electronic and interactive alternatives.

Broadcast Media
Direct marketing in broadcast media has been under pressure for one main reason. Expenditure on broadcast advertising has declined, particularly in television, which forms the base line for our calculations. However, the proportion of direct response has remained relatively constant. Radio direct response has more than held its own in this period.

Published Media
Direct response in published media has continued its steady decline. Partly due to declining advertising expenditure overall, it is also more to do with the tighter definitions introduced in previous years than any real decline in the proportion of advertisements offering a response device. True direct response is defined as that with more than 10% of the advert allocated to the response component. As website addresses and telephone numbers continue to replace coupons this proportion continues to reduce.

Other Media
Some of the other media show healthy increases for 2001. Field marketing, contract magazines and cinema have all grown well.

The Census can be downloaded in .pdf format from the DMA website gratis (members only); also on CD-Rom with a Key Findings booklet for £25 or, without the booklet, £10. Non-members can obtain the CD-Rom and booklet for £75.

Data sourced from: DMA; BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff