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DMA Finds Marketers Are ‘Bullish’ on Growth Prospects in Its Latest Business Survey

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DMA Finds Marketers Are ‘Bullish’ on Growth Prospects in Its Latest Business Survey
November 21, 2012

NEW YORK—Nov. 21, 2012—The Direct Marketing Assn. (DMA) released its “Quarterly Business Review” (QBR) for the third quarter of 2012. DMA partnered with management consulting firm Winterberry Group on the report.

Despite ongoing uncertainty about the fate of the economy and its potential impact on broader business opportunities, a vast majority of respondents to the third quarter 2012 “Quarterly Business Review” survey said they are confident about the practice of direct and digital marketing (DDM) and its prospects for future growth.

“Increasingly, marketers are expressing confidence in the prospects of direct and digital marketing, with a majority of respondents expecting their revenue to increase during the fourth quarter,” said Linda A. Woolley, DMA’s acting president and CEO. “Notably this quarter, more marketers are reporting that the availability of data and the general demand for DDM media are having a positive impact on their organizations’ DDM activity.”

A full three-quarters of the surveyed U.S. marketers and marketing service providers said they were bullish about the growth prospects for DDM—with a plurality (47.1 percent) saying they “strongly agree” that the practice of direct and digital driven marketing is well positioned to grow in the future. This represents a slight increase from last quarter, when 72 percent of respondents voiced similar confidence.

On an index basis, respondents echoed a similarly modest improvement in confidence from the second quarter. The DMA/Winterberry Group panel of marketers and service providers reported a composite confidence index of 3.91 in the third quarter (on a 1-to-5 scale), up from 3.85 in the preceding period.

Other key third-quarter findings include:

• For the second straight quarter, the only DDM channels that saw increased investment were those in the digital space—further reinforcing the secular shift in economic influence toward both emerging and established online media

• The percent of DDM budgets allocated to customer acquisition efforts in Q3 was 58.8 percent, very near to the 60 percent benchmark that generally indicates periods of robust economic expansion (and in line with budgetary allocations that have been reported each quarter since Q3 of 2011); and

• Changes to DDM-related staffing levels have been less volatile — holding steady at a very modest growth rate, which survey respondents predict is likely to continue through Q4.

About the Quarterly Business Review
DMA’s Quarterly Business Review (QBR) for the third quarter of 2012 is published by the Direct Marketing Association, with research and analysis provided by Winterberry Group. Its conclusions are based on results from an online survey of DMA members, deployed in October 2012 and focused respectively on marketers and the marketing service and technology solutions providers that work with them to develop, launch and optimize campaigns. Altogether, DMA received 322 usable survey replies, which included 156 marketer respondents and 166 providers of marketing services and technology solutions.

About Winterberry
Winterberry Group is a unique, global strategic consulting firm that helps advertising and marketing companies grow shareholder value. Based in New York, it offers a combination of corporate strategy, market intelligence and merger and acquisition due diligence support services aimed at helping clients identify opportunities for growth and achieve transformative results.

About DMA
The Direct Marketing Assn. is the world’s largest trade association dedicated to advancing and protecting responsible data-driven marketing. Founded in 1917, DMA represents thousands of companies and nonprofit organizations that use and support data-driven marketing practices and techniques.

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