Eric Dukart, who directs Sundog’s Customer Insight Group, just returned from DMA 05, the Direct Marketing Association’s national convention in Atlanta. In an article dated yesterday, DM News, the mouthpiece of that organization, reported that a Multichannel Marketing 2005 survey of direct marketers projects Internet sales will leap to 43 percent by 2007. Keep in mind these figures are specifically for companies that are considered direct marketers. One of the interesting findings of the survey was that 33 percent of Web sales were incremental…sales that wouldn’t have occurred if people would have had to order via phone or the mail.
Other interesting points Eric took away from the convention included the growing importance of the Internet to not only generate leads for companies, but also its effectiveness at increasing sales due to online tools that deliver relevant, contextual information to a prospect. These tools include search engine optimization, email, ad-serving, pay-per-click, pay-per-call and others. Speakers emphasized the importance of being able to capture this information with back end systems…CRM, databases, content management systems…that would allow companies to gain knowledge and insight into key marketing segments.
Many speakers also emphasized the importance of a tight convergence between traditional offline marketing tools and the new online marketing options.
The power of the Internet to transform the selling process was evidenced in a powerful keynote address by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) president, John A. Greco. The DMA had for years fought, or at least attempted to ignore, the transformational presence of the Internet. Greco’s speech, however, clearly defined a new direction for DMA by embracing the powerful changes that are happening. According to Greco, “Marketing is changing and the DMA is changing with it. Our goal in developing a new identity is to reinforce that we’re committed to cultivating stronger relationships between consumers and direct marketers, and propelling these relationships forward. Moreover, in an era when business leaders are demanding accountability from marketing, the direct marketing process helps all marketers to achieve superior results in the most measurable way.” Greco went on to explain how DMA was now embracing the power of the Internet to create a growing new era for direct marketers.
Greco said studies confirmed that in 2005, each $1 investment in direct marketing ad expenditures, returned $11.49 of incremental revenue on average for all industries.