Websites becoming Critical Sales Channel

Websites Becoming Critical Sales Channel

DoubleClick Inc. released the results of its Marketing Spending Index this summer, the first of a bi-annual survey designed to track trends and acceptance of both offline and online marketing tools. The study of nearly 200 marketing professionals in the U.S. shows marketers to be cautiously optimistic about the growth of their media budgets for the remainder of 2002. The study also reveals that websites have already become a critical sales channel, and a larger proportion of respondents expect web sales to increase over the next 12 months than any other sales channel.

According to the survey, websites account for 12% of respondents' sales, the third largest revenue source behind retail (30%) and a direct sales force (28%). Additional sales channels include resellers (11%), telephone (9%) and catalogs (7%). In addition, three quarters of respondents (74%) expect revenue generated online to further increase during the next 12 months.

Websites were also described as the second most pervasive sales channel with more than 55% of respondents selling their products or services online. Almost 60% use a direct sales force and 48% use retail stores. Other channels include resellers (37%), telephone (37%) and catalogs (31%).

Susan Sachatello, DoubleClick's Chief Marketing Officer, says "Leading marketers are embracing these channels and leveraging them alongside traditional means of reaching their customers."

Email marketing ranked consistently high by respondents for achieving marketing objectives:

  • lead generation (65%)
  • information dissemination (55%)
  • retention (55%)
  • building awareness (55%)
  • generating immediate sales (53%)
  • upselling (51%)

    Respondents use online advertising primarily for:

  • building brand awareness (75%)
  • acquiring new leads (59%)
  • driving immediate sales (43%)
  • retention (40%)
  • providing company information (38%)
  • upselling to existing customers (28%)

    Only 56% of companies have tools in place for measuring the effectiveness of online advertising, while 60% have tools for measuring email. Sixty-five percent of marketers have tools to measure their TV and promotions. Nevertheless, email measurement tools are perceived to be as effective as those of television (4.46 as compared to 4.45 out of a scale of 5). Although online advertising tools rank slightly lower in effectiveness, it ranked above those used for trade shows and print (4.33 as compared to 4.25 and 4.24 out of 5).

    Find out more here.

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