Letters to the Editor: Results speak volumes for direct marketing’s value

I don’t share Russell Parsons’ views in his article, ‘Charity mailers should be wary of growth’.

Charity marketers are among the most sophisticated and results-driven in the business. Motivated by effectiveness and efficiency, they invest more in mail because it works.

A 2013 Institute of Fundraising Conference heard how The Salvation Army bettered already market-leading results by investing more in mail, digital and TV. Econometrics helped it understand the impact of mail on other channels’ results and it invested accordingly. The charity is shortlisted for a 2014 IPA Effectiveness Award.

Even without econometrics, optimising media on five-year net income (rather than in-year ROI) often leads to greater emphasis on mail because supporters recruited by mail often stick longer.

So maybe the charities are on to something? Next’s Lord Woolfson obviously thinks so as he credits investment in mail as one of the reasons for Next’s recent growth.

Jonathan Harman, managing director, Royal Mail MarketReach

Fashion is a poor fit for the digital age

Nike’s plans to expand its ecommerce offering, reflects a wider market trend of brands wanting to reach as many consumers through as many places as possible. But such moves can throw up a range of challenges around integration of disparate systems and departments to meet customer needs.

Globally, fashion brands and retailers are moving at a relentless pace to keep up with consumer demands. The growth of fast fashion has created a shift in buying cycles, increasing their frequency year on year. As a result, many fashion houses admit that their existing infrastructures and operational processes struggle to keep pace.

Most businesses operate manufacturing, supply chain and merchandising as separate units, which means they cannot seamlessly manage garments from design to promotion, through every channel.

If the customer is the engine driving modern retail, then brands need to integrate all of their operations in an unbroken chain, centred on their needs – something that Nike does very well. Focusing on the end buyer is the only way to ensure a brand delivers what they want, when they want it.

Ron Porcello, sales director Europe, Attune Consulting

Bank customers want content and innovation

While banks and financial services companies need to be useful to their customers in order to win their trust, success is driven by knowing what consumers need and keeping the offer relevant – not just through effective content but through enhanced customer experience.

Big technology players are beginning to move in to the sector – Apple Pay being one example – so financial brands need to keep up-to-speed with digital trends and technology innovations. Barclays’ moving into the contactless payment wearables space is one way this is being achieved.

Digital transformation is not only a way of reaching those all-important next generation consumers, but is also integral to keeping existing customers engaged with your brand.

Peter Veash, chief executive, The BIO Agency


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