Majority of DMers to increase budgets this year: DMA study

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Slightly more than half of direct marketing professionals plan to increase their marketing spend this year, according to the Direct Marketing Association's (DMA) latest Quarterly Business Review.

The study, released March 4, found that 51.4% of respondents will boost their marketing budgets this year, while one-third (33%) said budgets will remain at 2009 levels. More than 60% of respondents said they will maintain existing staffing levels, which Yory Wurmser, research manager at the DMA, said is an indicator of economic stabilization.

“Marketers appear to be optimistic about 2010, and that's really good to see,” he said. “The real value is being able to see in near real time, on a quarter-by-quarter basis, exactly how things are changing.”

More than 41% of marketers said that revenues increased in last year's fourth quarter, compared to Q4 2008, despite stagnant consumer spending and the slow economy. However, 25.8% of marketers said revenues decreased year over year.

Nearly six in 10 (59.5%) marketers are also investing in acquisitions.

The report was based on three online surveys of the DMA's house list. They were conducted between December 14, 2009 and January 10, 2010.

Wurmser said the report focus more on digital channels than past surveys. He said he expects marketing dollars to continue to shift to digital throughout the year.

The review was the first time the DMA partnered with Winterberry Group on the eight-year-old report. It will continue to do so, said Wurmser.

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