Blechert Sees Return to Direct Marketing in Sweden

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GOTHENBORG, Sweden - Traditional direct marketing techniques are making a comeback in Sweden after years of an Internet-only focus among corporate clients of major agencies, according to Bo Blechert, owner of Blechert & Blechert, a key direct marketing agency located here.


Innovative IT companies such as Ericsson and Nokia Scandinavia moved into cyberspace early, Blechert said, "and that meant focusing on the Web and on IT while other businesses faded.


"Now, I think we are going back to a better balance as the initial enthusiasm for the Web is going down. Companies invested a lot of money in the Web and as yet can't see any results. Response is low."


Companies are coming back to the old media and to agencies that can handle them. IT and Web companies are buying ad agencies and Web agencies are acquiring direct marketing shops to offer clients a fuller service palette, Blechert said.


Complaints about poor Web site design have been mounting because "pages were so boring with little communication and poor graphics. So now we have been suggesting crisper copy and cleaner graphics which our computer people are transferring to client sites."


Use of direct mail is increasing which means that "more companies are coming to agencies like mine and asking 'can you help us with DM concepts and create and produce direct mail for us?'"


Two years ago, Blechert admitted, traditional agencies had a problem because everybody was running to the Web.


"The Web hurt our business, no doubt about it," he conceded. Even agencies serving the mail order business had problems because they too wanted to get into e-commerce, but the balance is being redressed.


Blechert stressed that the Web will become an integral part of direct marketing but not take over the whole business. "We just helped one of our clients develop a site because they wanted greater communication on it."
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