Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Direct marketing in Romania
Direct marketing in Romania
After 40-plus years of communism, Romania emerged from the 1989 revolution with business directors and budding entrepreneurs who were hungry, yet often ill-prepared, to manage under free market conditions Despite its rich resources and untapped capabilities, Romania, like other countries in Central and Eastern Europe, faced many challenges as it attempted to transform its economy throughout the 1990s.
While Romanian managers and entrepreneurs demonstrated a willingness to start and operate privately-owned businesses at very high levels, many in the past lacked the skills and background needed to run a successful business venture. This is changing. And changing rapidly. As accession to the European Union becomes a reality in 2007, a new generation of managers has emerged that think differently, are familiar with and open to the concept of risk, exhibit sound decision-making and leadership skills, and possess knowledge of many cutting-edge business strategies. One of the most evident areas of this transformation is the rise of a dynamic direct marketing industry.
In the summer of 2006, a standardized 24 question survey instrument was administered to businesses participating in a direct marketing conference held in Bucharest, Romania. These businesses represented a wide spectrum of the Romanian economy ranging from very small to large global firms. Of the total sample, 18.5 per cent of the responding firms were primarily business-to-consumer, 40.7 per cent were primarily business-to-business, and 33.3 per cent were some combination. Overall, 270 fully completed and usable surveys were obtained. Some of the highlights of the findings include:
(1) 100 per cent of the respondents reported an increase in direct marketing activities in Romania in the past 5 years.
(2) 84.6 per cent indicated they anticipated a moderate to high level of growth in direct marketing activities in Romania in the next 5 years.
(3) 81.5 per cent states that the overall perception of direct marketing amongst consumers in Romania was positive.
(4) 92.6 per cent of the respondents believed that the Romanian business community has a positive perception of direct marketing activities in general.
(5) Of the three direct marketing industry organizations actively involved in the Romanian market (The US Direct Marketing Association, The EU-FEDMA, and The Romanian Direct Marketing Association – ARMAD), 65.4 per cent indicated that ARMAD was the most influential in setting direct marketing standards in the market.
(6) Based on the experience of their individual businesses, the most successful direct marketing activities in Romania are:
Direct mail (66.7 per cent)
Telemarketing (40.7 per cent)
(7) Based on the experience of their individual businesses, the least successful direct marketing activities in Romania are:
Electronic/online (33.3 per cent)
Infomercials (25.9 per cent)
(8) In terms of revenue derived from direct marketing, 57.9 per cent reported earning more than 300,000e annually through direct marketing activities.
The results of this survey clearly show that in the rapidly emerging and developing market that is modern day Romania, direct marketing does, and will continue, to play an important role for firms of all sizes in their attempts to establish and maintain an ongoing relationship with current and potential customers.
Nicolae Al. PopFaculty of Business Administration, Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania
Florin MihocGriffiths School of Management – Emanuel University, Oradea, Romania
Editor's note: Using a standard survey instrument, in each issue a report on the state of direct marketing in a selected country around the world will be featured. This issue deals with direct marketing in Romania. As a rapidly emerging Eastern European market, and a new partner in the European Union, Romania seems an ideal starting point for considering how direct marketing is viewed in different markets.