Royal Mail is stepping up its involvement in the direct marketing (DM) industry with the launch of a tool allowing client companies to create their own direct mail campaigns. However, some members of the DM community warn that the tool could adversely affect smaller agencies.
The new service, called DM On-Line, cuts out the need for an agency. It enables companies to create complete mailing campaigns online – from design and creation, to data handling and back-end fulfilment. Customers will also be able to follow the off-line production of their mailing campaign from start to finish on the website. Marketing Drive Worldwide London created the tool.
Royal Mail head of media information Andy Kershaw says: “DM On Line forms a key strand of Royal Mail’s long-term strategy to consolidate mail’s position in the marketing mix. The service will enable any business, regardless of size, to benefit from high-quality mailing campaigns.”
Wunderman EMEA chief technology officer Dave Bulman says the launch of the tool is an “interesting move”. He adds: “I don’t think it will bother the large agencies, but it could hurt the smaller independents.”
Black Cat managing director Stephen Callender acknowledges that “there are not many small businesses that can afford an agency”. He adds: “A medium-size business upwards would still benefit from an agency to do some thinking for them.”