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]