DMers Expect Growth in Q3, Quarterly Business Review Finds

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The Direct Marketing Association's Quarterly Business Review, released yesterday, marked the eighth consecutive quarter of positive growth results, and revenue projections for the third quarter remain just as optimistic.

The second quarter came in with a revenue index of 65. A score of 50 represents no change while scores above 50 represent growth and those below 50 show a decline.

"The index numbers confirm the overall strength and vitality of the practice of direct marketing by all segments of the economy," said Peter A. Johnson, director of the DMA's strategic information unit.

All three DM segments -- marketers, agencies and suppliers -- foresee a healthy growth in revenue with an overall index of 67. Agencies were particularly optimistic for the next quarter with an index of 72.

Customer acquisition and Internet integration/e-commerce solutions are at the head of the list of projected expenditure areas, with e-mail and database segmentation modeling close behind.

Given that the U.S. Postal Service applied for a rate increase next year, it's not surprising that postal rates and postal reform have replaced economic conditions as the factor marketers view as most likely to affect growth in the next quarter.

Economic conditions and consumer confidence tied for second place in the ranking of important metrics. International crises also were viewed as playing a key role in affecting growth.

The DMA's Quarterly Business Review is based on three online surveys of DMA member companies conducted July 8-22. The DMA received 293 responses.

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