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DMA Releases First-Ever 'Future Of Direct Marketing' Report

Direct Marketing

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) today released the first-ever 'Future of Direct Marketing' qualitative report.

Marketers facing the current economic landscape remain unclear about what 2009 and beyond will bring. This report provides insights into what leaders in the direct marketing community think about the short- and long-term future.

DMA asked over 35 well-respected direct marketing leaders from a broad array of verticals and channels such as: Herschell Gordon Lewis of Lewis Enterprises; Alan Moss of Google; Jeanniey Mullen of Zinio; and Akira Oka of Direct Marketing Japan Inc., about their opinions on the future of direct marketing and their industry.

Specifically they were asked:

  • Where do you think direct marketing will be in 5 years? 10 years?
  • How should direct marketers prepare for these changes
  • How will your industry/segment change during this time?
  • How is the state of our nation's economy impacting your industry/segment? and lastly
  • How do you think the election of Barack Obama will affect the direct marketing community?

"The direct marketing community is not alone in feeling the impact of today's struggling economy, however, they have always been resilient," said Michelle Tiletnick, DMA research manager and author of the report.

"Direct marketing advertising expenditures now account for over half of total advertising expenditures and going forward, marketers will continue to be more cost conscious in their campaigns. While direct marketing has evolved drastically over the years and there are challenging times ahead, its measurability and accountability ensure that direct marketing is here to stay."

Each leader has provided their own unique perspective based on their experiences and expertise. Responses are alphabetically categorized by industry, starting with academia and ending with technology providers.

In this report, DMA summarized and condensed all of the responses into reoccurring ideas, trends, and constructive advice.

So just what does the future of direct marketing look like and how can marketers begin preparing for tomorrow today? The report revealed:

The future of direct marketing 5 years, 10 years

  • Customers will be in control. If your business cannot provide them with what they want, there is a long line of competitors behind you that will.

Measurable and accountable marketing. The health of the economy has made every marketer think and re-think where to put each dollar of their marketing budget. The proof will be in the numbers, forcing marketers to test their campaigns, provide results through metrics, and justify their spending.

Some experts said -

  • 'Consumerism will [also] drive legislation and self regulation,' Direct Marketer.
  • 'Technological advancements will ensure you can soon compare prices from the checkout counter if you want,' Digital Publisher.
  • 'Direct marketing' and 'advertising' become one and the same,' Government Official.

How to prepare -

  • Ask for preferences. Ask your customers what they want to receive, how often they want to receive it, and through what channels.
  • Invest in your future. Know how to incorporate Web 2.0 into multichannel strategies, how to capture and capitalize the abundance of data that digital channels offer, and how to track and measure performance using analytics tools and techniques.

Some experts said -

  • 'Redefine interactive,' Interactive Marketer.
  • 'Change with the times. Stop clinging to old mindsets and traditions,' Academician.
  • 'Build a more consolidated international network frame,' International Marketer.

The report is available for download on DMA's online bookstore.
To purchase, please contact the USA DMA directly -  

About Direct Marketing Association (DMA)
The Direct Marketing Association ( is the leading global trade association of businesses and nonprofit organizations using and supporting multichannel direct marketing tools and techniques. DMA advocates standards for responsible marketing, promotes relevance as the key to reaching consumers with desirable offers, and provides cutting-edge research, education, and networking opportunities to improve results throughout the end-to-end direct marketing process. Founded in 1917, DMA today represents more than 3,400 companies from dozens of vertical industries in the US and 48 other nations, including half of the Fortune 100 companies, as well as nonprofit organizations.

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