£4.5bn proof DM’s ‘alive and kicking’

direct mail (2)The classic DM disciplines of direct mail, door-drops and leaflets have continued to hold their own in UK marketing budgets this year – grabbing a spend of £4.5bn – with only the online advertising tsunami beating them into second place.
While most coverage of GroupM’s “This Year, Next Year UK” study has centred on the resurgence of TV ads, direct marketers are more likely to be interested in the news that traditional DM techniques are alive and kicking.
And, with most online and digital ads using tried and tested direct methods, the report appears to confirm former IPA chief Hamish Pringle’s declaration that “We’re all in DM now”.
Overall, GroupM predicts that UK media and marketing services spend will hit £22.5bn in 2013, rising to £23.3bn next year. The big winner continues to be online marketing, reaching £6.2bn this year and £7bn in 2014 on the back of a rise in search and display. Second is direct mail, door-drops and leaflets, on £4.5bn this year, followed by a slight dip of just over 2% to £4.4bn in 2014. The figures also include production costs.
In third place is TV advertising, which is expected to grow by 6.8% year on year in 2013 to hit £3.7bn. Of the rest, only outdoor, public relations and market research will grow this year – albeit marginally – while B2B magazines (-12%), consumer magazines (-8.2%) and newspapers (-6.9%), will all feel the chill wind of decline.
Group M futures director Adam Smith said: “This ad recovery is spectacular, but not a phenomenon. UK annual GDP is likely to have risen 9% in cash terms since 2008, and annual advertising the same.
“The question is whether advertisers sustain their optimism that UK households are feeling richer, and might actually get richer, between now and the election expected in spring 2015.”

Related stories
Hamish Pringle: ‘We’re all in DM now’
Online boom masks volatile adspend
DM and digital spend up, says IPA
DM spend cut as online rises
IPA: Ray of hope for DM spend
Digital and direct lead budget rise

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