Direct Marketers to Further Adopt Online Channel in 2007

Direct marketers overwhelmingly plan to increase online spending in 2007.
As many as 85 percent of direct marketers and service providers say they will move dollars to e-mail and Internet channels, according to a survey of over 500 direct marketers released by integrated marketing firm Alterian.

Meanwhile, a comparatively meager 51 percent say they will increase their offline budgets.

“The survey indicated there’s going to be a lot of growth across the board, but especially online and e-mail marketing,” Alterian Director of Marketing Joe Stanhope told ClickZ News.

Still, he said, “E-mail and online marketing represents a small percentage in the overall spend.”

E-mail is the clear category winner. Eighty-one percent plan to increase spending on the channel, while 50 percent intend to up their direct mail budget and 45 percent say they will spend more on personalized landing pages.

The growth in online spending comes at the expense of offline, with 94 percent saying they’ll shift dollars from offline to digital channels.

Companies most comfortable with online and e-mail marketing are in large part the ones that have invested in analytics. “There is a correlation between channel integration and analytics,” said Stanhope. “If a marketer has gotten to this sophistication level where they’re doing integrated marketing campaigns, those are the people sophisticated enough to have that kind of infrastructure to carry out analysis.”

Stanhope also said the analytics correlation is a chicken-and-egg problem, in which it’s difficult to assess whether analytics or experience in the online channel came first.

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