DMA/Winterberry Group Quarterly Business Review (QBR) for the first quarter of 2010, the Direct Marketing Association in conjunction with The Winterberry Group found that both direct and digital marketers have seen improved performance in terms of revenue, marketing expenditures and profitability compared to the previous quarter and the same quarter last year. Moreover, both marketers and service providers have optimism that this growth will continue, albeit at a slow pace.
Even though the plurality of 301 marketers surveyed said their spending remained the same during the period, nearly half expected spending to increase in the second quarter. The primary reason for this increased activity was cited as improved analytics and enhanced processes. In addition, there was a significant increase in revenues generated through direct channels due to slow improvements in response rates suggesting some easing of the recessionary pressures over the past year.
According to marketers, nearly all direct/digital marketing channels (with the exception of catalogs) had increased spending during the quarter. As has been the case in previous quarters, the most significant growth has been seen in email, social, search, online and mobile.channels. Interestingly, teleservices saw an increased investment after several quarters of decreases. Finally, the report found that the balance between budget allocated to acquisition and customer retention remained relatively constant at 59.5%/40.5%.
From this quarterly study, it is clear to see that online/offline integration will continue to be a marketing priority leveraging the technology available to drive better results across multiple channels and multiple touches. Reduced budgets and staffing is also making the importance of robust reporting and a strong ROI a centerpiece of most direct/digital programs.