DMA Report Finds 10th Quarter of Growth

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The DM industry posted its 10th consecutive quarter of positive results for marketers, suppliers and agencies, according to the Direct Marketing Association's Quarterly Business Review, covering the final quarter of 2005, released yesterday.

The review is a benchmark of the industry's financial performance. It identifies trends affecting future performance, including changes in sales revenue, customer response rates, marketing expenditures and staffing levels. Results are based on 304 responses the DMA received to an online survey of member companies in January.

The QBR revenue index was 68, which nearly matches the index figure of 69 in the fourth quarter of 2004, the highest index number in any quarter since the review's inception in 2002. The Q4 index exceeded the DMA's projected revenue figure for the quarter, which was 64.

The index, which is a score out of 100, compares revenue with the year-ago quarter. A score of 50 means no change while above 50 indicates growth and below 50 signals a decline.

The DMA segments the industry into users, agencies and suppliers in the report. The overall projected revenue index for Q1 2006 is 64.

Overall, direct marketers reported a weighted average sales increase of 12.4 percent in Q4 2005. In the business-to-business segment, weighted average sales rose 16.9 percent versus 2.4 percent in the previous quarter. Catalogers saw their revenue index dip to 55 from 59 in Q4 2004, and the projection for Q1 2006 revenue is 57.

The DMA also broke out the financial services and nonprofit sectors for the first time for Q4 2005. Financial services marketers showed an index of 81, and nonprofit fundraisers showed an index of 68.

Kristen Bremner covers list news, insert media, privacy and fundraising for DM News and To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting

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