Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Direct Marketing is not dead!

Another interesting session at B2B London today was one titled 'Managing Your Data', presented by Richard Lloyd of Experian.

Many people think of Direct Marketing as being mail shots which are soooo old school and not worth their while because email is so much better. Well, they're wrong.

Direct Marketing encompasses any number of channels including both email and post, as well as fax and some people include trade shows. Basically, DIrect Marketing is where you can have a targetted conversation with a potential buyer.

Bearing the above in mind, here's some facts and figures on the Direct Marketing industry in the UK:

  • The Future Foundation reported that £40 billion was generated in 12 months by B2B direct marketing
  • The Direct Mail Information Service in 2004 reported that:
    • Business managers receive an average of 13 Direct Mail items per week
    • There was a 139% increase in volume in the last 13 years (since records began)
    • Expenditure was up by 165% in the last 13 years
    • Business managers opened 66% of direct mail pieces, 9% is re-directed to a colleague and 20% is filed for future reference or responded to.
    • A large majority found direct mail useful, with 36% stating it was "quite useful" or "very useful".
  • Business data is shown to have a decay rate of 37.5% per annum. That means over one third of the data stored in your CRM system or the like every year is out of date. As an aside, 10% of businesses change address every year.
  • As a result of the above decay rate, £220 million is wasted every year on inaccurate mailings.
Yes, these figures are for the Unite Kingdom but they do raise some salient points on the importance of accurate mailing data. But, get (and keep) that data correct and a well crafted direct mail piece is just as effective as ever.