New media fail to squash snail mail

While it may be true that TV is no longer the premier medium for brand building (Are marketers turned off by television?, MW July 14), it is unfair to establish that new media and radio are the way forward.

New media are coming under massive pressure from legislation and the effects of past under-regulation. Under the terms of the EU Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications, companies cannot e-mail you unless you have bought something from them or actively requested them to contact you. The same is true for SMS or instant messaging. You cannot make a marketing or sales call to someone who has registered on the Telephone Preference Service (currently over 8 million in the UK).

In any case, only just over half of us have internet access from home (and what proportion of us actively use it for purchasing is a moot point). This contrasts with the inexorable rise in mail order, home shopping and direct marketing conducted through the good old snail mail.

Moreover, there is a gradual move away from cold prospecting. Pitney Bowes research tells us that over half of marketing resources will be put into marketing to existing customers by the end of this year. Our research shows that many are using existing routes to the customer – such as bills or statements – to make extra marketing offers.

So the bottom is falling out of some areas of traditional advertising. But far more of that spend is piling into direct mail than into internet advertising. Traditional mail reaches, after all, almost every household in the land, many of which have opted out of e-mail or phone approaches.

As ever, the truly clever companies are measuring the return they get through every available advertising medium and weighting their efforts accordingly.

Andrew Greenyer

Director of marketing EMEA

Group 1 Software Europe

Watford, Herts

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