Jonathan Margulies

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) released its "Quarterly Business Review" (QBR) for the fourth quarter of 2013. … The study shows confidence in data-driven marketing (DDM) at its highest level ever, with nearly 78 percent of respondents saying they're confident in the practice of DDM and its prospects for future growth. Contributing to this confidence is the growth of digital channels, of which data is a vital driver.

2012 began with the same slow growth patterns that defined 2011. Marketers reported modest improvements in revenue, campaign profitability and staffing levels between Q1 2012 and Q4 2011, although the rate of growth was slower than the full-year 2011 numbers. On a more positive note, marketers seem more optimistic with projections for the coming quarter. Sixty percent expect revenues driven by digital and direct marketing (DDM) to increase in Q2, compared with just 43 percent that reported increased revenues in Q1.

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.

Hundreds of bleary-eyed conferees crowded into the room, lining the walls and tripping over attendees sitting in the aisles. There to listen to the thought leadership session "Integrating Online and Offline Data for Digital and Direct Marketing," they were present and accounted for at 8:45 a.m. on Tuesday during DMA2010 in San Francisco.

Winterberry Group Director Jonathan Margulies noted recently in a whitepaper on the state of the direct mail channel that as the economy goes, so goes direct marketing spending. We've all heard by now that mail volumes plummeted in 2008, a fact borne out by Who's Mailing What! Archive research. The impact on the B-to-B sector can be seen in the 24 percent decline in mail between the March 2007-February 2008 and March 2008-February 2009 periods; the drop for all mail sectors during this time was 9.2 percent. While mail volume from B-to-B firms was rising, it dipped in 2007 and has not looked back-a nod to the internet's affect on this sector. In general, efforts appear to be more tightly targeted and integrated with online and/or phone channels to either generate or nurture leads.

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