The internet has come of age as a direct marketing medium, with
usage having almost doubled last year, a new survey claims.
A study commissioned by the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers
shows that 60 per cent of advertisers now include the internet as part
of integrated direct marketing campaigns compared with 32 per cent in
The ISBA study says its findings indicate a widespread upswing in direct
marketing activity in general, reflected by the fact that 44 per cent of
companies surveyed used a single direct marketing agency in 1998 - 12
per cent more than in 1997.
Financial institutions, retailers and service industries are leading the
way in the increased use of direct marketing, according to ISBA, while
consumer durables manufacturers show the least enthusiasm for increasing
expenditure in the area.
The survey covered 85 ISBA member companies, nearly half of whom spend
more than pounds 5 million a year on direct marketing.
The growing importance of direct marketing as a strategic tool is
mirrored in the survey’s finding that 88 per cent of advertisers believe
the quality of creative thinking to be the most important reason for
selecting a direct marketing agency. At the same time, the use of ad hoc
freelancers for direct marketing work is decreasing.
Meanwhile, the conclusion that more than half of the advertisers
questioned pay their agencies on a retainer basis rather than for each
job is being cited as evidence of direct marketing’s growing maturity.
There is little evidence that payment by results is gaining much
support, even though the number of companies saying they incorporate it
into agency remuneration agreements doubled to 8 per cent between 1997
and last year.