DMA Releases New ‘The Power of Direct Marketing’ Industry Forecast

Mobile marketing will lead all channels in 2011, with an annual growth rate exceeding 50 percent. Social network marketing, search engine marketing, and “Internet other” (a catch-all for rich-media ads, advergaming, blogs, etc.) will all increase by more than 20 percent, and the two largest components of Internet advertising — search and display, will both grow at a rate over 18 percent. “Growth in advertising spending on online media over the past year exceeded our expectations,” says Wurmser.

Although spending on most traditional channels remains below the peak year of 2007, direct mail and DRTV both bounced back strongly in 2011. Direct mail expenditures will grow 4.6 percent to just over $50 billion, DRTV will have even higher growth (6.1 percent). As strong as these numbers are, direct response magazine, direct response radio, inserts, and telephone marketing all will experience negligible growth at real rates (adjusted for inflation). Spending on direct response newspaper will continue to fall.

Economy Slows at End of 2011 with Weak Growth Expected in 2012

The economic recovery has slowed significantly in the second half of 2011, with little improvement seen for 2012 even if the US avoids a double-dip recession. Although direct marketing is expected to continue to outperform the broader US economy, growth in all channels will slide from 2011 numbers. The fastest growth again will be with mobile marketing, which is expected to rise nearly 40 percent, followed by the various online channels, all with double-digit increases. Virtually all traditional media, however, will see growth rates either in the low single digits or in negative territory.

9.2 Million Jobs Generated by Direct Marketing

The increased economic activity produced by direct marketing will support 9.2 million jobs in the US in 2011. Companies continue to work on improving their productivity, which limits the number of new jobs created. Despite the strong growth in sales and expenditures in direct marketing, a net of only 66,000 new jobs will be created in 2012.