According to DMA studies, and the work of independent survey firms released recently at the annual Direct Marketing Association fall conference in Chicago, 45% of respondent revenue was generated through direct marketing during the first nine months of 2001, as opposed to just under 36% last year.
Richard Levey reported that last year, about 1/3 of the respondents' marketing budgets went to direct marketing, compared with nearly 43% during the first three quarters of 2001. And, last year, only 18% reported spending at least 80% of the budget on DM, versus 30% this year, with positive results. 43% indicated that during the first nine months of 2001, gross direct marketing revenue was up. And 35% reported that margins rose as well.
At the conference, the Wharton Economic Forecasting Associates economic forecast conducted for the Direct Marketing Association, showed that despite the economic downturn, direct and interactive marketing sales will hit the $1.86 trillion mark by the end of the year, a 9% increase over last year. Wharton says that this figure will grow to $2.8 trillion by 2006.
Other key findings summarized by Ray Schultz:
DM ad spending is expected to reach $196.8 billion this year, up 3.63% over last year, and continues to make up more than 55% of all U.S. ad expenditures. The direct marketing total includes $102.5 billion in B-to-B spending, and $94.3 billion in consumer expenditures.
Consumer direct sales will hit $1 trillion this year, an increase of 8.2% compared with last year.
B-to-B direct sales continue to grow at almost double the rate of general U.S. B-to-B sales. They totaled $858.1 billion this year, an increase of 9.9% over last year.
"We are pleased that, despite current economic conditions, our industry is continuing to exhibit strong indications of growth in all sectors," said H. Robert Wientzen, president of the DMA.