Study: DM Growing Fastest in Mexico, Asia

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According to a new study, International direct marketing sales are growing fastest in Mexico and several countries in the Asia Pacific region.

The DMA study, titled "Economic Impact: Direct Marketing in 30 Countries Worldwide," showed annual sales growth increasing at the greatest rate in Mexico, with 32.3 percent growth expected in the period 2000-05.

Behind Mexico was the Philippines with 28.2 percent growth expected over the same period. The remaining nations on the top five in expected direct marketing sales growth also were Asia Pacific nations, including Malaysia with 23.7 percent, South Korea with 23.3 percent, and Hong Kong with 22.6 percent.

Taiwan and Thailand are also expected to see direct marketing sales growths of more than 20 percent during the period.

The study also found that for direct marketing, the largest markets in the world -- behind the United States -- are Japan and Switzerland.

The study proves the DMA's belief that growth potential for the direct marketing industry abroad remains strong, according to DMA president/CEO H. Robert Wientzen.

For example, annual direct marketing sales in Brazil increased 7 percent from $1.1 billion to $1.8 billion from 1995 to 2000, Wientzen said. The market is expected to grow to $2.5 billion by 2005.

But significant obstacles lie in the way of international direct marketers matching the 9-to-1 return-on-investment rates achieved last year in the United States, Wientzen said. Factors adversely affecting ROIs in many countries include address standards, inadequate postal infrastructure, fluctuating economies and incompatible payment methods.

"As government and investors in non-U.S. markets begin to see the tremendous profit potential and economic impact that direct marketing can deliver, we expect many of the challenges to be addressed," Wientzen said.

The full study will be available in book form from the DMA in July. DMA members will be able to buy the study for $129, while nonmembers will be charged $199.

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