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The Check Is in the Mail--And So Are the Ads
Your well-written Media Outlook special report [Adweek, Sept. 20] falls just short of being comprehensive.
While examining 10 important advertising media, the special section fails to report on direct-mail marketing, the third-largest medium in terms of ad spending, behind newspapers
and television (according to the Direct Marketing Association's Statistical Fact Book 1998).
Direct marketing is integrated throughout all ad media--direct mail, catalogs, telephone marketing, newspaper, magazine, television, radio, interactive and others.
DMA figures show that direct marketing represents well over $750 billion in consumer sales
and approximately $600 billion in business sales. Direct mail accounts for more than one-third of the consumer sales figure and more than a quarter of the business figure. It is the highest-grossing sales category in consumer direct marketing and the second highest in
business-to-business direct marketing.
In fact, a 1998 study by Pitney Bowes found that direct mail and catalogs were the preferred vehicle (at 25.5 percent) among company marketing executives for increasing brand identity--leading all other categories, including those cited in your study.
According to the U.S. Postal Service, more than 88 percent of advertising mail delivered to homes is read by recipients-- and 18 percent respond. That figure argues powerfully for the prominent position that direct-mail marketing occupies among advertising media today.
And unlike the 10 media surveyed in your focus, direct-mail marketing--particularly the cooperative envelope-- provides an affordable, accessible advertising vehicle for small businesses on limited marketing budgets.
Next year, I hope Media Outlook will include direct-mail marketing among its focus users. The medium merits inclusion.
Carol P. Osborne
Vice president of marketing
Val-Pak Direct Marketing Systems, Largo, Fla.
For the Record: Richard Wilkie is national sales manager in the New York office of San Francisco-based Egreetings Network [Art
& Commerce, Nov. 8]