Clean up or end up in the junk

I thought it was rather ironic that last week’s article (The dawning of a new age, MW November 13), which started by asking “What is direct marketing? Is it about data driven customer relationships?” was opposite an ad from the Direct Marketing Association urging people to clean their data with a picture a huge pile of rubbish being pushed around by a bulldozer.

That image depicts exactly what direct marketing is trying hard not to be, but it has a long way to go before it escapes the stigma attached to “junk mail”.

Yet simple cleaning processes can eliminate direct mail inadvertently being sent to any of the 700,000 people who die each year and the 6 million that move house.

It is not just the reputation of direct mail that can be saved, it is money too: £18m is wasted every year mailing the deceased and £95m on sending mails to obsolete addresses. Surely this goes some way to answering the question of what direct marketing should be about: not just data, but up-to-date, clean data.

Lawrence Stroud

Managing director

The Data Processing Company

Saltburn

Cleveland

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