Direct Mail in 2016

As we reported a few weeks ago in this blog direct mail is in rude health. WARC/AA recently released its latest figures which showed the third consecutive increase in mailing budgets and pundits are predicting this growth will continue into 2016. 

However, it's not an exaggeration to say that some facets of the mailing industry, particularly lead generators and data providers, have come under fire due to some unfortunate events leading to questions about targeting the vulnerable. This has led to immense scrutiny from consumer watchdogs, the government and governing bodies. The ramifications will be far reaching and inevitably conclude in some legislative changes. 

All this notwithstanding, what can large brands and small businesses do to continue to take advantage of the benefits that direct mail affords? We believe that a shift to micromarketing will be the answer and a trend we'll see emerging in 2016. Micromarketing is focusing on smaller, more tightly targeted groups of consumers, for example by postcode area, age or hobbies etc. This doesn't necessarily mean reducing overall DM volumes, but simply dividing up campaigns into bite sized chunks. Ultimately through such an approach marketers will have greater control over their data. It is much easier to screen anomalies and inaccuracies such as deceaseds, goneaways and suspected vulnerable individuals out of smaller batches than large files of data. Furthermore, ROI on more closely targeted campaigns tends to be higher than more homogenised ones.