746 — UK direct marketing industry shows timid growth, DMA reveals

Jul 15, 2003 | Conteúdos Em Ingles

The UK direct marketing (DM) industry is worth 17,7 billion euros in the 2002-2003 period, a 6 per cent increase over last year’s figures, reveals the UK Direct Marketing Association (DMA). The DMA Census 2002-2003 shows a slowdown in the growth of telemarketing expenditure, a decline on TV / radio advertising as well as on turnover of database suppliers. New media has thrust its position with a yearly investment growth of 17 per cent.

“In these trying times, maintaining turnover and profit levels is the main concern for businesses and the focus on ‘customer centricity’ has never been grater. Whilst advertising budgets have continually been downgraded, future plans for direct marketing have held up extremely well, proving that dm remains the most effective and accountable way of communicating with customers,” commented Mike Barnes, DMA’s marketing director.

Nevertheless, despite overall growth some indices on DM are warning: this is the slowest annual estimated growth rate since 1995 and halved last years’ growth. And telemarketing’s growth has slowed dramatically (only 4 per cent).

For DMA this also reflects a tendency towards more in house implementations in many areas, particularly database and telemarketing and the downward pressure on fee and commission income commensurate with a tighter and more competitive environment being experienced by many of the direct marketing agencies.

Whilst telemarketing and direct mail still make up the bulk of the expenditure, due to variable growth over the past year other media have gained a significant share. Insert expenditure has grown by a significant amount over last year’s figure despite a real volume increase of some 5 per cent. At 17 per cent growth, new media has also bolstered its position this year.

On the supply side, there has been a shift in the activities of the largest companies. This has diverted from list provision into agencies and more general service providers, reflecting the overall decline in expenditure in the database category this year and a concomitant trend for more target customer mailings rather cold mailings to purchased lists.

“In the years since the height of the dot.com boom in 2000 we have seen a slow and steady re-adjustment to the reality of the new media landscape. This means that the internet has lost some of the sheen but it is now being deployed in a more realistic, integrated and effective way. The nature of direct marketing has been transformed by the interactive media of the telephone and internet. But now, finally, after a decade of spectacular and continuous growth, telemarketing appears to the be slowing, whilst interactive media spend continues to gain momentum,” Mike Barnes added.

The annual DMA press monitor has found that internet/email addresses now appear on over 80 per cent of press advertisements, 64 per cent of magazine advertisements and 62 per cent of regional press.

Filipe Samora

Em Foco – Projecto