01 June 1999

A NEW STUDY, Relationship Marketing on the Internet has been published by the DMA. The report asserts that UK companies' fulfilment of web enquiries is poor, with over 40% of information or brochure requests unanswered after three weeks. The study also criticises intrusive questionnaires that demand personal information, such as income, before entry to a site is granted; lack of online ordering facilities also comes under fire. The study was conducted on a 'mystery shopper' basis with a sample of eighty UK consumer-oriented sites chosen at random from the Yahoo! UK directory. Says DMA chief executive Colin Lloyd: 'I recommend all managers and chief executives plant their own name into the internet database so they can get all the communications real customers get. I promise it will be an eye-opener.' [Mr Lloyd is being uncharacteristically naïve if he believes that the names of chief executives are unknown to their staff - or that they would receive the same treatment 'real customers get'. How about the use of pseudonyms, Colin?] The report can be obtained for £200 from the DMA.