The DMA recently released research looking at the contribution that direct marketing makes to the UK’s economy. It highlights how far direct marketing has spread into other channels and also how important the industry is to business today.
The title gives the final number away – some £14.2bn in 2011 – with a 7% growth in 2012. Not surprisingly the growth is mostly coming from digital channels – with 12% coming from email marketing, 8% from social media, 6 % from search and 1.9% from mobile marketing. All these figures actually feel conservative to me – I see much higher growth from other research and my own data points.
The study was undertaken as a result of the proposed EU Data Protection Regulation. It looks to reduce a marketer’s ability to segment, target and personalise marketing messaging. The DMA expects this will reduce the effectiveness of direct marketing by an average of 6.7%. I think the ramifications are potentially much larger as whilst there is a place for putting your messaging in front of as many people as possible in an untargeted and non-personal way, the volume of messaging that consumers are exposed to daily means that delivering your message in a personalised and relevant way is important to rise above the noise.
There is much more information on the value of Direct Marketing to business in the full report, which you can download here. For those that just want the highlights, the DMA have created an infographic, which you can view in full here or by click on the image on the left.
These are still early days and there is plenty of time for these proposals to be changed. After the mess of the “cookie legislation” that went live in May 2011, mostly due to bad drafting (which you could argue was in turn due to a lack of sufficient communication from the industry itself), we can do better this time around. The same thing does not need to happen again. Marketers should be vocally arguing for a change to the current proposals by talking with the relevant trade bodies (DMA, IAB etc) to ensure a uniform voice and then approaching their local MP and MEPs so that they understand the ramifications.