It’s been another busy year for the UK’s leading marketing industry trade body, the Direct Marketing Association. We mine some nuggets out of their most recent annual report and accounts.
Topic: Direct marketing
Who: The Direct Marketing Association
When: November 2003
The Direct Marketing Association ("DMA"), Europe's largest trade body in the marketing communications sector, published its report for the period 1 April 2002 to 31 March 2003.
Now with more than 850 members, the DMA exists to protect the UK direct marketing industry from legislative threats, to promote best practice and to develop the sector as a whole.
As a result of its own census within its membership and the industry, the DMA reports that over the period in question, direct marketing expenditure increased by 6% to £11.85billion, with telemarketing continuing to dominate the industry despite a considerable slow-down in expenditure. New media continued to bolster its position with a growth of 17%, inserts became the fourth largest medium in the industry now estimated to be worth £1.15billion, and perhaps most interesting of all, outdoor and transport advertising rose by an impressive 18% in 2002.
Overall, for the period the bell weather indicators are typically mixed. There was a 6% increase in expenditure on direct marketing since last year's DMA census, but this was the slowest growth rate since the census started in 1995.
Not surprisingly, digital marketing played a large part in the growth increase, the inclusion of new figures for text message marketing and email marketing in the UK bringing the total expenditure in this area to £525million.
One low spot of the report is the DMA's expression of deep concern at the "meteoric rise" in Telephone Preference Service ("TPS") registrations over the last 18 months. The TPS is the statutory telemarketing control system, policed by the DMA's sister organisation the Directive Marketing Authority. All marketers wishing to make telephone calls for direct marketing purposes are legally obliged to check with the TPS before making any such calls. The TPS lists all individuals who have "opted out" of receiving telephone calls for direct marketing purposes.
In September 2003 there were 3,400,000 numbers registered on the TPS. This represented a stonking 53% increase on September 2002.
The other statutory preference service operated by the DMA, the Fax Preference Service, recorded 1,300,000 numbers registered as of September 2003, a 20% increase on the previous year.
The DMA also operates the Mailing Preference Service ("MPS"), although this is not a statutory body, there being no legal obligation on direct marketers to consult the MPS before sending direct marketing material by mail.
Although a recent consumer awareness survey revealed only 35% awareness of the MPS amongst the UK population as of September 2003, there were still over 1 million addresses registered on the file. This represented the largest annual increase in the file size since the MPS was launched 20 years ago.
Looking at the financial side of things, the TPS interestingly made a profit before tax of £67,122, whilst gross DMA income for the year (consisting one imagines largely of member dues and conference proceeds) rose to £2,386,637 from £2,311,736 for the previous year, although administration expenses for the year slightly exceeded gross income, by £8,775, investment income of £36, 319 yielded after tax a retained surplus for the year of £20,088, nearly £3,000 more than the previous year.
Why this matters:
The DMA, of which Osborne Clarke is a member, continues to take an active role in all its fields of influence, and despite the ever-widening ambit of its activities and responsibilities, now significantly increased by huge growth in digital marketing, it remains at the forefront of UK trade bodies operating in the area and appears to be in healthy financial shape.