Something old, something new makes the perfect marketing marriage

Last week I attended the launch of the IPA’s third TouchPoints survey that aims to describe a week in the life of the average Joe.

Russell Parsons
Russell Parsons

Among 1001 key observations was that consumers are not looking for digital media to replace traditional media but to complement it.

I was reminded of this when I read the latest industry attitudes survey on direct marketing this week.

Direct marketers from companies of all shapes, sizes and flavours responded and the results suggested a shift from the traditional to the new.

Almost all of those polled (97%) use email, while 70% use physical mail. Almost a third (32%) say that email is the most effective DM to reach consumers, compared with 13% for mail.

Unfortunately, this is the first survey of its kind that Marketing Week has run so it is difficult to gauge if this constitutes a trend, but I strongly suspect it does.

Unattributable qualifications from some respondents suggest that physical mail is costly and environmentally unsound in comparison to its electronic sibling.

Traditional mail has its benefits and fans, of course. Elsewhere in this newsletter, Mark Thomson, media director at the Royal Mail makes a persuasive argument for the creative bank canvas that DM provides.

It is not, however, a case of one or the other. As TouchPoints found, consumers are receptive to a panoply of mediums.

Integrating the traditional and the digital in a careful, well targeted way is the key.

The two are not mutually exclusive and shouldn’t be treated as such. Email and other digital channels have their plusses and conventional mail has its own – but put together the campaign is stronger.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here