- The direct marketing industry is still dogged by problems of public perception, according to new research carried out by the Direct Marketing Association in conjunction with the Royal Mail.
Eight out of ten marketers think that the man in the street doesn't know what direct marketing means, and six out of ten think that it has a bad image, mainly blamed on unsolicited telemarketing.
However, a majority of UK marketers seven out of ten consider that direct marketing is more important than above-the-line advertising in the marketing mix. And more than half say they will put their money where their mouths are and allocate more cash to direct marketing over the next two years.
The majority opinion that further integration will occur between above- and below-the-line areas was backed up by around half of all clients and agencies thinking that it will be on direct marketing's terms, with above-the-line activity being absorbed into a broader definition of direct marketing.
The research, entitled Campaign 2000, was commissioned ahead of the 1999 DMA/Royal Mail awards to assess the factors most likely to affect direct marketing in the next millennium.
Mike Barnes, the DMA's marketing director, said: "We've carried out our Campaign 2000 research as a healthcheck on the direct marketing industry today from the point of view of both buyers and deliverers of direct marketing services and to see what trends are emerging for the future."