Taylor Nelson is able to innovate

In your feature on door-to-door marketing (MW October 11), Nick Wells of Circular Distributors (CD) is quoted as saying he can “target rounds of 200 households”. I can only suppose that “target” in his terminology has a different meaning than it does in ours. We use original, not modelled, data to evaluate each round and every household in it. And we can, and do, distribute to rounds on an individual basis.

I have no doubt that CD has information on the rounds it controls through its newspaper distribution business – reaching about 3 million households – and it may well have information from one or two of the smaller regional groups. But we understand from the country’s largest newspaper distributors that CD has only recently been supplied with round information for development purposes – a stage we were at over a year ago. As of today, therefore, Mr Wells’ claim is a gross distortion of reality.

With regard to his statement that “we’re always first with new ideas and opportunities for clients”, I would cite three recent innovations in the door-to-door market: the use of actual purchase data to drive fmcg targeting systems; the introduction of a shared distribution service with guaranteed delivery within five days; the combination of research and lifestyle data at individual household level

In each of these instances Taylor Nelson AGB was first to the market, usually with CD following some time later.

But one thing puzzles me. Creating a new targeting system means major investment both in time and money and most people would accept that extensive computing resources and the ability to analyse and manipulate vast quantities of data could prove helpful in the process. Why then does Mr Wells consider it to be an advantage that CD is “independent (and) not owned by a major market research company”?

Linda McHugh

Managing director marketing services division

Taylor Nelson AGB

London W5

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