Direct marketing records 18th consecutive quarter of positive results

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New York—Despite economic malaise, direct marketers had a positive fourth quarter and expect growth in the first quarter, according to the Direct Marketing Association’s Quarterly Business Review released Monday.

The direct marketing industry—including direct marketers, agencies and suppliers—collectively experienced its 18th consecutive quarter of positive economic growth, though the fourth-quarter results and forecasts were more modest than in the past.

Overall growth in fourth-quarter revenue indexed at 55. A score of 50 represents no change, above 50 means growth and below 50 indicates a decline.

Profitability results also were strong, at 65. When divided into segments, marketers registered the strongest profitability index at 68, while suppliers and agencies were at 63 and 62, respectively.    

The projected revenue index for the first quarter is 57. By category, agencies and suppliers project first-quarter revenue growth at 59, followed by marketers at 55. 

In the event of a recession, 47% of marketers said they would keep their marketing budget the same but reallocate expenditures. Of those marketers that would alter their spending, 42% would reduce spending on postage, while 50% would increase expenditures on e-mail marketing.

—Carol Krol
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