Marketers' results solid in Q4 2006: DMA review

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The Direct Marketing Association's Quarterly Business Review found that marketers ended 2006 with solid performances.

For the fourth quarter of 2006, the QBR reported the 14th consecutive quarter of positive economic growth, with findings indicating strength and growth in revenue versus same quarter last year and a direct marketing business-wide index of 67.

In the QBR index, a score of 50 or higher indicates growth.

"Marketers ended 2006 with a solid performance, with both revenue versus SQLY and profitability showing improvement over Q3," said Anne B. Frankel, senior research manager of research and market intelligence at the DMA in a statement. "Revenue projections remain strong for Q1 2007, pointing to continued optimism."

The review is based on online surveys of DMA marketer, agency and supplier member companies. The fourth-quarter survey was fielded by DMA's Research and Market Intelligence Department between Jan. 8 and Jan. 23. The DMA received 588 survey responses.

Projected revenue for Q1 2007 remains strong with an overall index of 67, which is on par with the Q4 projection, the DMA said. All three segments - marketers, agencies, and suppliers - expressed optimism for the first quarter, signaling anticipated growth in the coming year.

In a reversal of the previous quarter, agencies are somewhat more optimistic than both marketers and suppliers and forecast greater growth in Q1.

In each of the four years measured by the QBR, direct marketers reported their strongest revenue versus same quarter last year figures in quarter four. Industry-wide profitability index numbers were healthy for all segments, with marketers, agencies and suppliers each posting an index in the high 60s or better. Agencies posted the best revenue and profitability figures of the three measured segments.

Revenue versus original projections for agencies and suppliers reflected improvement over the previous quarter. Marketers remained unchanged from Q3 at 48, while agencies increased 2 points to 52. The supplier segment had a noticeable gain of 7 points to 51, bringing them into positive territory.

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