Magazine article Marketing

OPINION: Marketing Society - DM Won't Shed Junk Tag without Better Targeting

Magazine article Marketing

OPINION: Marketing Society - DM Won't Shed Junk Tag without Better Targeting

Article excerpt

Why do we still get it so wrong? Those of us who work in direct marketing continue to get serious grief at parties.

The common response to 'I work in DM' is invariably, 'Oh so you're responsible for all that junk mail'. The next 20 minutes usually involve me explaining that we do targeted mailing to people who have either asked for our mailings or, if not, at least are known to be responsive. But once you're on the back foot, you're on the back foot.

The problem is that I am attempting to defend the indefensible. Most direct mail is junk, whichever way you look at it.

Indeed, it is worse than that. The industry fought valiantly and vainly against an opt-out clause on the electoral roll. Why? Because it suited them, even though any level-headed person may well have concluded that their legal obligation to register on the electoral roll did not necessarily mean their name should be available to anyone who chose to purchase the roll.

Likewise, protests are raised about the industry's environmental responsibility to recycle mail. Yet, of course we are responsible for the environmental impact of what we do; to think otherwise is short-sighted and dated.

The problem is that the DM industry hasn't got its house in order. Mass mailings based on pretty low response rates remain the order of the day.

In B2B it is even worse because data quality is so very poor. My favourite mailing was from a data company, which told me it had the best marketing list available, yet mis-spelt my name, left a blank space for my title, and sent it to my previous company - not very impressive. …

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