Online-Offline Marketers Expected to Increase Revenues 136 Percent

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Direct marketers with a presence offline and online are expected to increase revenues by 136 percent this year, according to a study by Millard Group Inc., Peterborough, NH, titled "The Direct Marketing Industry Online: Perspectives on 2001."


"The acceptance of offline direct marketers moving online by the general population was and continues to be significantly better than many analysts had anticipated," said Chris Anne Wheeler, vice president of information services at ActivMedia Research, Peterborough, NH, which conducted the study.


The second annual online survey, which was commissioned by Millard and sponsored by the Direct Marketing Association, was conducted in August and released this month. Respondents were Web marketers from 386 small, medium-sized and large businesses with a presence offline and online.


More than one-third of the responding direct marketers with offline channels have achieved profitability online, according to the study.


"A lot of people thought there was no way that catalogers could expand their businesses online. They thought it would just erode offline sales, but that did not happen," Wheeler said.


She added that companies that did see a decline in business volume are experiencing significant competitive pressures and need to create customer loyalty and drive traffic online.


The survey was initiated to provide direct marketers with information about how the Internet is affecting the traditional direct marketing industry.


Topics include revenue, profit, e-commerce, Web transactions, Web site security and advertising. Back-end operations and fulfillment issues also were added this year.


Survey results are available from ActivMedia Research or the DMA.
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