BTB catalogers want new clients cheap

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Acquiring new customers cost-effectively to grow business was the leading concern of business-to-business catalogers, according to a new survey by MeritDirect and DMinSite.

Ninety-one percent of those responding to the 2007 Anonymous Survey of B2B Business Conditions ranked that issue as No. 1. The new postal rates for Standard Mail flats was cited by 73 percent, having reliable metrics by 60 percent and new growth strategies by 51 percent.

"Overall, in general, the greatest challenge multichannel marketers have is overwhelmingly related to adding customers cost-effectively and a lot of that is exacerbated by the postal rate increases," said Ralph Drybrough, CEO of MeritDirect, White Plains, NY.

MeritDirect and DMinSite sent the survey to 168 CEOs, presidents, owners, general managers and C-level marketing executives of MeritDirect client companies in the BTB cataloging space. Forty-four responses were received.

Another major concern was recruiting enough talented people to keep up with growth.

A round of questions on comparables yielded interesting answers. Fifty-nine percent of respondents said sales for the first four months of 2007 were up and 14 percent said the sales were comparable to 2006. In another response, 76 percent of the respondents said their full-year sales forecast for 2007 was up, and 12 percent said it was comparable to last year.

Also, 76 percent expected the 2008 forecast to be higher, while 16 percent expected similar results. Finally, 61 percent said their budget for Internet-related marketing versus postal catalog marketing will be up, with 33 percent expecting about the same as last year.

"There is an amount of optimism for the rest of the year and one of the reasons for that is that the last half of the year typically accounts for 55 to 60 percent of the revenues for many of these companies," Mr. Drybrough said.

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