Online marketing has overtaken trade fairs in advertising popularity within the timber industry, according to a survey conducted by IHB International Timber Exchange.

The survey, in co-operation with Mannheim-based TMS, says online marketing now ranks as the second most popular advertising media after print advertising. And a further increase of 15-20% is expected in the coming years.

About 10% of respondents said they use direct online marketing, ahead of trade fairs at 6%, but behind the print media at 24%. More than 11% of people said the internet is an indispensable part of their marketing planning.

But IHB says the industry has a lot of catching up to do in marketing, as 37% of respondents said they did not advertise at present. It said experts believe only those companies who position themselves actively on the market will survive in the long term.

The surveys of Nielsen Media Research have also found a continuing growth trend for online marketing, with advertisers spending €135m in the first half of 2003 – nearly 20% more than in the same period in 2002.