The Direct Marketing Association has revealed that spend in the sector rose by 9.8% to £18bn in the year to March 2008. Email marketing continued to be the fastest growing category, up 19% to £1.1bn.
The findings in the DMA’s annual Economic Impact of the Direct Marketing Industry 2008, compiled by the Future Foundation, also found that while direct mail continues to represent over a quarter of DM budgets at £4.8bn, the internet maintained its position as the second most popular, accounting for 17% of expenditure at £3.1bn.
Mobile messaging also enjoyed a rise, up 8%, although it represents just 1% of total expenditure.
Employment generated by the direct market industry rose 14% compared to the previous corresponding period.
Other findings in the report reveal that the magazine sector is the third most popular medium used for direct marketing, accounting for 10% of all expenditure or £1.8bn. 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 spend respectively, while radio and TV combined accounted for just over 3% of DM budgets. Out-of-home remained one of the smallest methods, making up 1% of DM budgets.
Victoria Bytel, head of membership and research at the DMA says: “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.”
The findings follow this week’s release of the Bellwether Report for Q2 (July 14), which revealed that DM budgets have been revised down to the greatest extent in the survey’s history.
Around 19% of companies reported a lowering of DM budgets, outnumbering those reporting an increase by nearly two-to-one.