Industry buy-ins mar permission targeting

Alan Mitchell’s view that DM needs a fundamental rethink in terms of permission and better targeting is spot on (MW October 6).

There is one deep-seated problem – industry buy-in. For example, suppression has been cheaply and easily available for the past decade and yet some large volume mailers still don’t refresh and clean their mailing lists ever, let alone regularly. So what hope do we have of such companies adhering to specific consumer permissions and how long they last?

DM must be about giving the consumer the ultimate choice in what they do and don’t receive and when. Also, we must respect that choice, irrespective of whether that decision suits us or not. Controlling the use of publicly available data and moving towards a truly respected choice-driven marketing model should be the top of the agenda for direct marketers.

It’s not all doom and gloom. Over the past 12 months, we have experienced a marked increase in responsible mailing practices borne out by a 24 per cent increase in the use of suppression files which can only result in more relevant and tightly targeted campaigns. In addition, recent research commissioned by the REaD Group revealed that public opinion of the medium is on the turn.

Consumers are more predisposed to the medium than they were last year. Over two-thirds of respondents believe that direct mail is a legitimate way for companies to contact them and over half said they would be significantly more receptive towards the medium if mailers were more conscientious in addressing their targeting concerns. It is definitely time for less talk, more action.

Mark Roy

Chief executive

The REaD Group

Sevenoaks, include your home/business address

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