The direct marketing industry has experienced a substantial improvement in fortunes since our first industry white paper was published in late 2003. Major regulatory changes occurred that led many to claim the potential doom of some or all of direct marketing, such as do not call and the CAN-SPAM Act, but it appears that the industry has generally taken the obstacles in stride.
Indeed, outbound telemarketing has lost substantial mindshare and market share since the initiation of do not call, but we believe the industry is ultimately stronger for it. The changes incorporated by the federal government instituted a (generally) level playing field for all direct marketers, and it appears that industry participants are willing to play by the new rules.
Overall, direct marketing clients have come back after the 2001 recession and are spending well — and expect to spend even more in coming quarter.