The UK's overall spending on direct marketing campaigns increased by 9.8% to 18 billion in 2007, according to the DMA's 'Economic Impact of the Direct Marketing Industry' report for 2008.
Employment generated by the direct marketing industry in the UK has also grown by 14% since 2006, now representing some 3.4% of total employment (1.009 million people). The growth (by 11.3%) in employment has been influenced by an increase in expenditure on internal activities, while the amount spent on outsourcing has remained relatively unchanged.
Direct mail still popular
The research found that direct mail continues to be an industry stronghold, representing just over a quarter of all direct marketing budgets in 2007 (worth some 4.8 billion).
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 direct marketing, accounting for 17% of expenditure (3.1 billion).
Mobile messaging rose by 8% over the previous year and, while this represents only 1% of total expenditure, it is another indication of the growing importance of digital direct marketing.
The magazine sector was the third most popular medium, accounting for 10% of all expenditure (1.8 billion). This was followed by door drops at 9% and inserts at just above 7%. Growth in customer magazines, field marketing and telemarketing expenditure also rose by 10% on average.
Other traditional advertising media 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 only 1% of direct marketing budgets.
According to Victoria Bytel, head of membership and research for the DMA, "It is good to see such healthy growth in direct marketing expenditure. 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 and 2009, in what is predicted to be its biggest economic test for many years."