More than 48% of marketers and 54% of service providers reported higher profits in Q1 2010 than the prior year, according to a report from the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and Winterberry Group.
More than 50% of marketers and 57% of suppliers are also expecting an improved bottom-line performance during Q2, according to the DMA’s Quarterly Business Review.
“It looks like we are turning a corner; it is the best survey we have had in two years,” said Yuri Wurmser, research manager at the DMA. “There is a lot of optimism.”
As in previous quarters, digital channels continued to gain the most new marketing spending, with e-mail, social, search, online display advertising and mobile among those growing in adoption in Q1.
“Traditional channels are more expensive and less instantly measurable, so people are being cautious and putting money into digital,” said Wurmser, who added that while direct mail is holding steady, its share is shrinking. He also said direct mail providers are beginning to offer more digital services but are challenged because of the difficulty of growing these services organically.
Marketers also cited “improved data analytics tools and processes” as the leading driver of new or expanded direct or digital marketing activity. Wurmser said brands are facing an increased demand for measurement, a better understanding of multichannel approach and pressure from company leaders to produce quantifiable results.
“The desire to measure and show results is very strong,” he said.