LONDON: Despite the gloomy outlook painted by this week's IPA Bellwether Report, the UK direct marketing industry has declared itself to be in robust health – in 2007 at least. 

According to the Direct Marketing Association's Economic Impact of the Direct Marketing Industry 2008 published Wednesday, spend on direct marketing campaigns increased by 9.8% to £18 billion ($36.07bn; €22.65bn) in 2007.

The research, compiled by the Future Foundation, shows that direct mail continues to be the industry's bulwark, representing just over a quarter of all DM budgets in 2007 at £4.8 bn.

  • Within the digital sector, email marketing continued to thrive – growing by 19% to £1.1 billion in 2007, the largest jump in the entire sector.
  • The internet maintained its position as the second most popular form of DM accounting for 17% of expenditure or £3.1billion.
  • Elsewhere, mobile messaging rose by 8% on the previous year and whilst this represents just 1% of total expenditure it is yet another indication of the growing importance of digital dm.
  • The magazine sector is the third most popular medium accounting 10% of all expenditure or £1.8 billion.
  • This is followed closely by door-drops at 9% and then inserts at just over 7%.
  • Growth in customer magazines, field marketing and telemarketing expenditure also rose on average by 10%.
  • Other traditional advertising such as national and regional newspapers accounted for 3% of total expenditure each, while radio and TV combined accounted for just over 3% of direct marketing budgets.
  • Outdoor/transport remained one of the smallest methods, making up 1% of direct marketing budgets.
Says the DMA's Victoria Bytel: "It is fantastic to see such a healthy growth in direct marketing expenditure in 2007. Even when the economy begins to slow, and industry starts to get nervous, direct marketing continues to hold its own.

"We are however keeping a very close eye on how the industry performs throughout 2008/09 in what is predicted to be its biggest economic test for many years."

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