Marketing Trends Improve In Q1

More Money Spent, More Hiring, More Emphasis On Data

Marketing Trends Improve In Q1A series of key performance indicators for marketers moved higher during the first quarter, a new report shows. The information, compiled by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) for its Quarterly Business Review, shows that marketers and their companies spent more money, increased hiring and put more emphasis on data during the first quarter of 2013.

"We are seeing a renewed optimism in the data-driven marketing community this quarter – and with good reason," said Linda A. Woolley, DMA's president and CEO. "With a constantly growing wealth of data and technology at their fingertips, today's marketers are recognizing the incredible potential that data-driven marketing brings to their businesses."

As marketers study the benefits of using data in making decisions, ad specialty industry distributors believe data is already an important component of a successful marketing mix. "From our perspective, data has always had a critical seat at the marketing table," said Kevin Lyons-Tarr, president of Counselor Top 40 distributor 4imprint (asi/197045). "It's absolutely critical."

Other DMA review findings show marketers are increasingly opening up their budgets. A plurality of survey respondents said that their organization's Q1 spending was either equal to (42%) or greater than (39%) their spending in Q4 of 2012. Staffing also appears to be on an uptick, as the rate of hiring accelerated for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2010, data shows. The majority of survey respondents (71%) agreed that direct marketing channels are well-positioned for future growth.

"Marketers and service providers should take heart that virtually all other first-quarter performance indicators point to strong growth prospects ahead," said Jonathan Margulies, managing director at Winterberry Group, which partnered with DMA to produce the report.