RESTON, VA – Market information and research organization announces the release of a new marketing study on direct marketing.

In the new report entitled, “Trends and Future of Direct Marketing”, The Print Industries Market Information and Research Organization (PRIMIR) commissioned J Zarwan Partners, an outside consulting firm to conduct the study.

According to an April 29, 2011 press release from PRIMIR, the purpose of the study was “to investigate direct marketing and where opportunities exist for the graphic communications industry.”

PRIMIR is an association for the graphic communications industry, which conducts in-depth market research studies for the graphic communications industry. It conducts over $500,000 of research annually which is available to its members. It receives funding from membership dues as well as support from NPES The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies.

Direct Mail is Still King

One of the key findings in this report are that direct mail is still the largest direct marketing channel in the USA with telemarketing coming in a close second. According to the 420-page report, in 2009 direct mail accounted for 31% of all advertising spending and telemarketing accounted for 29% of all advertising spending. The study reveals that mailing list marketing and direct mail is still the number one channel used by marketers and businesses.

The PRIMIR press release at their website makes the following comments about the study:

The study addresses the impact of technology, economic and social issues, environmental concerns, postal rates, and demographics, as well as developments and differences in more than 16 key vertical market sectors such as retail, finance, insurance, healthcare and business services. J Zarwan Partners teamed up with INTERQUEST to conduct this important research for the PRIMIR members. In addition to responses from more than 550 individuals with knowledge about the graphic communications industry and direct marketing, the extensive methodology included a review of primary and secondary literature.

Not Only is Direct Mail Still King … It’s Growing!

A second key finding in the study is that marketing spending on direct mail shows a “strong upward trend” over the last decade and it continues to grow. This may come as a shock to many marketing managers, who are frequently given the impression that electronic and social media are taking over the planet. I get emails almost daily from marketing gurus who are selling this message but when it comes down to the facts, direct mail is still king.

It is true that electronic and social media do play a vital role in today’s marketplace and it would be foolish to ignore them. The PRIMIR press release did have some comments about this:

In the PRIMIR research, marketers noted the cost of print and competition with electronic/digital direct marketing channels as the two biggest issues confronting print direct marketing. Other challenges and issues include timeliness, personalization, and measuring ROI. Despite the challenges, however, marketers believe that print has a number of significant advantages—particularly deliverability and the ability to finely target. These marketing executives believe that print is more personal than other media and that customers prefer print.

The report concludes that in spite of the favorable opinion about the outlook of direct mail and print advertising it expects that online marketing will continue to grow in sophistication. The report identifies threats as well as opportunities for all participants in the print supply chain. It is believed that print is more costly and it will continue to lose volume to alternative media.

The Effect of The Economy on Printed vs Electronic Advertising

The slow economy in recent years has been a concern for marketers. The press release did address this issue:

One of the central questions of the study was the degree to which marketers will return to printed direct marketing when the economy recovers. And by the conclusion of the study in late 2010, direct mail volume had increased; the consultants believe this trend will continue.

The report is available exclusively to PRIMIR members and can be obtained by contacting their website.