Don’t be shy, DM’s success is worth a shout

David Reed’s view of the direct marketing industry is well founded (Pride and prejudice, MW last week), and from first-hand experience I agree with the sentiment that the DM industry at times struggles to communicate its successes.

Despite statistics showing that &£107bn worth of sales are generated through direct marketing every year, the industry feels it has little to shout about. Marketing effectiveness today is judged on ROI – something direct lends itself to fully. But the power of DM is not limited to response generation, it is also a highly useful brand building tool.

In particular, the value of direct mail to a sector such as packaged goods, which tends to invest exclusively in above-the-line, is something the industry should be shouting about.

A recent study by Royal Mail and dunnhumby focused on 31 campaigns from 25 packaged goods brands, ascertaining the effect of direct mail on sales uplift, penetration and brand share. The short-term results were fantastic, with sales rising by an average of 21.2 per cent, penetration increasing by five per cent and brand share by two per cent. Perhaps most interestingly, the long-term effects were also significant, with an average in-store sales uplift of 12 per cent.

Hard evidence like this highlights the kind of results direct marketing can muster for packaged goods brands. The DM industry should be proud of what it can, and does, achieve.  

Richard Roche

Head of media markets

Royal Mail

London WC1

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