DMA Releases Quarterly Business Review (QBR) for Q4 2011
The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) today released its Quarterly Business Review (QBR) for the fourth quarter of 2011. For the first time in at least half a decade, a majority of US marketers said their quarterly direct and digital marketing expenditures grew compared to the same period last year—suggesting that the slow, uneven recovery that has followed the crippling recession of 2008-2009 may have reached an effective tipping point, with both marketers and the supply chain that supports them firmly back in “growth mode” after a period of prolonged caution and uncertainty.
On this report, DMA partnered with Winterberry Group, a leading strategic management consulting firm that helps advertising and marketing companies build shareholder value.
"For several quarters now, we've been observing steady improvement across virtually all the economic indicators of importance to the direct and digital marketing community. But the fourth quarter of 2011 brought perhaps the most reason for optimism that we've seen in years," said Jonathan Margulies, Winterberry Group's managing director. "Though some of this growth was no doubt linked to a seasonal upswing, the symbolic importance of last quarter's productivity—with a majority of marketers reporting plans to grow their direct and digital investment—speaks volumes about the progress that the marketing community has made since the recession forced many to re-examine their promotional strategies, budgets, and media allocations."
“Not only have marketers increased their direct and digital investment,” adds Yory Wurmser, DMA’s director, marketing and media insights,” marketers also report optimism for the coming quarter. This is clearly the best report we’ve had in a while.”
- A majority of marketers (54 percent) indicated that their direct and digitally-driven revenues increased over last year.
- The bulk of marketers (and even more suppliers) have relatively optimistic expectations for the future, with 50.4 percent of marketers and 59.7 percent of suppliers projecting that their profitability is likely to grow next quarter (Q1 2012).
- Marketers say that “first generation” digital channels (including search and email) captured the most substantial share of new or expanded marketing spending, with emergent digital media (including social and mobile) also generating considerable new interest.
- For the second quarter in a row, marketers said they expanded their focus on customer acquisition as a key driver of their marketing activity, with 61.4 percent of top-line budgets now dedicated to such efforts.
- Though marketers say that “General Economic Conditions” continue to inhibit their promotional investments more than any other marketplace dynamic, the extent to which macroeconomic issues represent a meaningful concern diminished this quarter in a reversal of the growing economic anxiety that marked the previous three quarters.
About DMA’s Quarterly Business Review
DMA’s Quarterly Business Review for the fourth quarter of 2011 is based on an online survey conducted by DMA’s Research and Market Intelligence department in January 2012. Altogether, DMA received 390 usable survey responses.
The report is free for DMA members. Non-members can purchase a copy for $49.95 from DMA’s Bookstore.