Companies spending more on DM, says ISBA

Twice as many advertisers spend more than £5m a year on direct marketing than three years ago, according to a study by the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA).

Twice as many advertisers spend more than &£5m a year on direct marketing than three years ago, according to a study by the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA).

ISBA’s eighth DM agency relationship survey, published this week, reveals that over half of advertisers have increased their expenditure on direct marketing in the past year, a trend which looks set to continue.

The survey of 513 advertisers shows that nearly a quarter (22 per cent) are spending more than &£5m a year on DM activities, compared with just 11 per cent in 1998.

Creativity is the main criterion for selecting a DM agency, and is considered more important by clients than agencies’ “strategic input” and “technical knowledge”.

Nearly three-quarters of advertisers surveyed have increased their Internet DM activity in the past year. The Internet is now more popular than mail as a response mechanism in broadcast and outdoor advertising.

Over half of respondents (56 per cent) say their lead agency is a dedicated DM agency, with only eight per cent using the direct marketing department of their ad agency (down from 18 per cent in 1996 and 13 per cent in 1998).

But less than two-thirds of advertisers are satisfied with the knowledge of data legislation displayed by their lead agency.

ISBA director of marketing services Jackie Marlow, who commissioned the report, says: “It is reassuring that DM looks set to continue its growth in the coming year. It is clear there remains much for agencies to learn.”

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