B-to-b direct marketing sales drop sharply from Q4, exhibit year-over-year growth

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New York—The Direct Marketing Association's Quarterly Business Review for the first quarter of 2006 reported the eleventh consecutive quarter of positive economic growth, with a revenue index of 59. However, the first quarter index is down from the fourth quarter's index of 68.

For the b-to-b direct marketing segment specifically, the weighted average sales change of 3.7% was a large drop from the previous quarter's 16.9%, but exceeded the 2.5% in the first quarter of 2005.

The weighted average sales change among marketers was 5.8%, down significantly from the 12.4% increase reported in the fourth quarter of 2005 but more in line with the modest increases in earlier quarters (4.8% in the third quarter, 5.9% in the second quarter and 6.5% in the first quarter of 2005). Revenue for marketers specifically was an index of 47.

The index for marketers' budgets shows growth at 56, but that is down from the fourth quarter's index of 64.

A score of 50 in the QBR index represents no change in direct marketers' business performance in that quarter. Scores above 50 represent growth; scores below 50 represent a decline.

—Carol Krol

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