B2B direct marketing should not be seen merely as a cost, an industry expert has warned.

Jonathan Davies, executive vice president of advertising sales at CNN International, said that professionals would do better to see marketing as a business investment.

He pointed out that marketers are divided in their view of expenditure on marketing but they should see it as a contribution to a fund they hope will grow.

Speaking at a recent event on international media advertising, he said: “We must work together to convince media owners that advertising investment is truly an investment and I don’t think we collectively believe that.

“We work in the business of getting the biggest discount on the contributions that we make – until we reverse that attitude we are always going to be fighting for discount.”

According to the Direct Marketing Association, companies that send promotions using non-catalogue direct mail spend almost half of their firms’ total annual advertising budget on the channel.