Direct marketing continues to outperform other marketing services disciplines, according to a new report from Britain’s Direct Marketing Association.

The DMA Census 2002–2003 estimates that UK expenditure on direct response marketing rose 6% in 2002 to £11.85 billion ($19.37bn; €17.14bn). Although this is the slowest growth since the Census was launched in 1995, the DMA concludes that “relative to the performance of the advertising industry … it looks like a strong performance.”

The sector continues to be dominated by telemarketing and direct mail, which between them account for almost half of total spend. However, other channels are growing rapidly: new media DM surged 17% last year, while the smaller outdoor and transport advertising sector of direct-response jumped 18%.

The top ten media outlets (share of spend in parentheses) were:

1. Telemarketing (25%)
2. Direct mail (21%)
3. TV (12%)
4. Inserts (10%)
5. Database marketing (7%)
6. Door-to-door (6%)
7. New media (4%)
8. Field marketing (4%)
9. Contract [custom] magazines (4%)
10. Press display (national) (2%)

DMA director of marketing Mike Barnes hailed the results: “Whilst advertising budgets have continually been downgraded,” he declared, “future plans for direct marketing have held up extremely well, proving that DM remains the most effective and accountable way of communicating with customers.”

Full details can be found at the DMA website.

Data sourced from: Direct Marketing Association (UK); additional content by WARC staff