SOURCE: Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

February 26, 2008 12:32 ET

Companies Shift to Defense With Recessionary Fears Looming Around the Corner

Price Compression Tops Executive Fears for 2008 While Emphasis on Revenue Growth Drops 20% as a Top Organizational Goal to Only 1 in 3

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - February 26, 2008) - Aberdeen, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), announced today upcoming findings from "The 2008 Aberdeen Report: State of the Market." Survey responses from 4,645 business professionals shed light on how U.S. companies are taking a more defensive position in the market with fears of a looming recession. Beyond the need to execute a strategy and properly staff their businesses, executives identified a possible recession as their chief challenge to their organization in 2008, surpassing the issues of rising costs (materials, energy, salaries & healthcare), supply chain and sourcing risks, market volatility, and geopolitical uncertainty and instability. With anticipation of a possible recession, companies overwhelmingly identified price compression as the number one threat for 2008. In response to the threat, 40% of companies cited profitability (31%) or cost reduction (9%) as the top goal of their organization in 2008. Revenue growth continues to be the number one driver of organizations with 36% responding; however, this response rate is down 20% from 2007. While a U.S. recession remains only a possibility at this point, executives are quick to point out the need for them to think beyond the boarders of the United States. Sixty-one (61%) percent of those surveyed identified globalization as a top goal in their strategic plan for 2008. Fifty-five (55%) percent believe that the emphasis on going global will reduce costs: 21% identified labor cost savings, 18% identified material cost savings, and 23% identified manufacturing cost savings. These various cost savings represented three of the top four responses for going offshore.

The data points referenced herein are part of the 2008 Aberdeen Report, due out this quarter. The 2008 Aberdeen Report spans six years of data collection, 2.5 million business interviews, data from 1.2 million organizations, and over 4,645 snap-shot survey respondents to help understand the state of the market, including business practices, process methodology, technology application, and general strategies. The second in a series of annual reports by the Aberdeen Group, the research looks at industry, geography, organizational size, and role across various business drivers and outcomes. Individuals can pre-register for a copy of this 120+ page report on the Aberdeen web site at www.aberdeen.com.

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen is a leading provider of fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having benchmarked more than 35,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen™ for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen http://www.aberdeen.com or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to http://www.harte-hanks.com.

© 2008 Aberdeen Group, Inc., a Harte-Hanks Company
260 Franklin Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02110-3112
Telephone: (617) 723-7890
Fax: (617) 723-7897
www.aberdeen.com

Contact Information