DMA’s Wientzen: Q3 figures ‘encouraging’

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Orlando, Fla.--Direct Marketing Association President H. Robert Wientzen appeared onstage this morning at the Direct Marketing Association’s 86th Annual Conference and magically turned slips of paper into cash. Unfortunately, he couldn’t work his magic over the economic outlook.

Wientzen’s keynote speech included sobering findings from the DMA’s Economic Impact study. The study shows U.S. marketers projecting only $904 billion in sales attributed to lead generation in 2003, a 20% decrease compared with $1.13 trillion in 2002. Sales attributed to traffic generation also fell, decreasing 21.5% to $212.6 billion.

“We’re in the third year of a soft economy that hasn’t been kind to marketers or their suppliers,” Wientzen said.

However, the DMA on Monday also released its Quarterly Business Review findings, which are based on member input. Wientzen characterized the quarterly results as “encouraging.” The benchmark revenue index numbers, in which 50 means no change and above 50 means growth, jumped to 63 in the third quarter compared with the second quarter index of 49.

Regarding future spending, respondents in the quarterly review said they plan to spend more on customer acquisition, e-mail marketing, Internet integration and e-commerce solutions, and less on CRM systems, paper and telemarketing.

--Carol Krol

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