AdMedia survey shows direct marketing’s strength

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New York--A recently released study underscores the perceived power of direct marketing to deliver results for marketers.

Forty-three percent of advertising companies polled said they would like to expand their direct marketing business versus only 25% in 2001, while 31% said they are interested in expanding their database management efforts, according to AdMedia Partners Inc.'s eighth annual Advertising and Marketing Survey. Only 17% said they wanted to expand their general advertising.

"People want to diversify away from general advertising as much as they can," said Gregory C. Smith, managing director of AdMedia Partners, a New York-based investment bank that specializes in advertising and media. "Most of the [agency] holding companies have less than 50% [of their business] in general advertising or are targeting 50%," he said.

Database management business interest actually dipped from last year's peak of 46% of marketers who indicated a desire to grow that area, but that may attributed to the beating the technology sector took last year, which made companies more skittish about investing in database technology.

Interactive advertising, meanwhile, which ranked second in 2001, slipped to third place in this year's survey. Thirty-seven percent of respondents said they planned to expand their interactive business, down sharply from last year. "Clearly, industry players are increasing the commitment to direct this year, primarily at the expense of interactive, which has decreased as far as expanding percentage from 53% in 2001," Smith said.

The survey was fielded last December, when the advertising recession was considered by many to be at its worst.

--Carol Krol

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