The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) today released its Quarterly Business Review  (QBR) for the third quarter of 2013.  DMA partnered with management consulting firm Winterberry Group on the report.

For the third consecutive period, data-driven marketers in the United States said their investments in data-driven marketing (DDM) are generating increasingly profitable returns.  In light of that improved performance, marketers remain bullish about the practice of data-driven marketing and its prospects for future growth.

“Confidence in data-driven marketing is growing steadily as profits increase — and it’s no wonder.  Thanks to the unprecedented amount and quality of data now available, marketers are able to garner intelligence from consumer data more quickly and seamlessly than ever before.  As a result, consumers also receive tremendous benefit, including vastly improved customization and relevance,” said DMA President and CEO Linda A. Woolley.  “Moreover, panelists reported that the availability of technology — a category driven by the availability of data — was the prime driver of their data-driven marketing activities this quarter.”

Three quarters of panelists (75.4 percent) responded affirmatively when asked about their general confidence about data-driven marketing, including nearly half who said they “strongly agree” that the practice of DDM is positioned to expand in the months ahead (49.5 percent).

According to the Report:

  • Investment in DDM services and solutions continued to grow during the third quarter, and panelists are optimisitc that spending will increase in the months ahead;
  • Marketers are particularly bullish on mobile marketing opportunities; investments in the mobile channel increased sharply in Q3, outpacing social media investment rates for the first time; and
  • The availability — and affordability—of technology tools continues to create opportunities for DDM practitioners.  Panelists cited the availability of technology as the most prominent driver of their DDM activities in Q3, a category that had recently been dominated more by the availability of data and a general demand for related marketing solutions.

“Improving performance may be a good sign for more than just marketers’ financial returns,” said Jonathan Margulies, managing director at Winterberry Group. “It’s clear that profitability breeds confidence, and as DDMers are both financially stable and confident in their future business prospects, they may be more likely to begin testing new solutions for audience engagement. The growing opportunities provided by data — and the recent surge in investment in mobile marketing solutions — may be a preview of what’s to come in the year ahead, including interest in and adoption of innovative and exciting technology-driven marketing solutions.”

Panelist feedback echoed the positive impact that technology is having on DDM practices, enabling more effective engagement with target audiences.  In part, panelists noted:

  • “Advances in data and targeting technology — and customers becoming more comfortable with our use of these [is driving our DDM activities]”;
  • “Overall technologies make [our marketing goals] more attainable”; and
  • “The availability of less expensive data and technology solutions is enabling success.”

About DMA’s Quarterly Business Review

DMA’s Quarterly Business Review (QBR) for the third quarter of 2013 is published by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), with research and analysis provided by Winterberry Group, a New York-based strategic consulting firm serving the advertising, marketing services, media and information industries.

Its conclusions are based on results from an online survey of DMA members, deployed in October 2013 and focused respectively on marketers and the marketing service and technology solutions providers that work with them to develop, launch and optimize campaigns.  The latter group comprises a wide range of suppliers, including agencies, data and database service providers, production companies and a multitude of other entities supporting marketing program execution.

Altogether, DMA received 220 usable survey replies, which included 124 marketer respondents and 96 providers of marketing services and technology solutions.

The report is free for DMA members.  Non-members can purchase a copy for $49.95 from DMA’s Bookstore.


About Winterberry Group

Winterberry Group is a unique strategic consulting firm that supports the growth of advertising, marketing, media and information organizations.  Affiliated with Petsky Prunier LLC — a leading investment bank providing merger and acquisition advisory services to companies in the same sectors—the Firm offers its clients strategic perspective that is unparalleled in its addressable industries, while PPLLC maintains exceptional relationships with industry executives and business owners.  This combination of market intelligence, research and strategic operating experience (as well as the ongoing dialogue among buyers and sellers of marketing businesses) provides an educated outside perspective that we bring to each engagement.  For more information, visit: 

About Direct Marketing Association (DMA)

The Direct Marketing Association ( is the world’s largest trade association dedicated to advancing and protecting responsible data-driven marketing.  Founded in 1917, DMA represents thousands of companies and nonprofit organizations that use and support data-driven marketing practices and techniques.  DMA provides the Voice to shape policy and public opinion, the Connections to grow members’ businesses and the Tools to ensure full compliance with ethical and best practices as well as professional development.

In 2012, the Data-Driven Marketing Economy (DDME) added $156 billion in revenue to the U.S.  economy and fueled more than 675,000 jobs.  The real value of data is in its exchange across the DDME:  70 percent of the value of the DDME – $110 billion in revenue and 478,000 jobs – depends on the ability of firms to exchange data across the DDME.

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