2015 set for another summer of discontent?

Many of us will remember 2006 as the summer of DM discontent. Thousands of consumers marched on Parliament demanding that ‘junk mail’ was banned spurred on by the Daily Mail which published a series of damning articles under emotive headlines such as the ‘Great Junk Mail Revolt’. And now its at it again.

Yesterday the paper published an article under the headline ‘Surge in Junk Mail since Royal Mail Sell-off, outlining the fact that posties now deliver 50,000 more leaflets per day than they did prior to privatisation. The article (at time of writing) has already triggered 134 comments and been shared scores of times over social media. Angry consumers sharing tips on how to get their revenge, for example collecting them up and posting them into the nearest pillar box.

Royal Mail has responded in kind blaming the increase on a rise in economic conditions, but comes across as being overly defensive. So much for the research it recently invested in!

Ultimately, its all a case of targeting. Every marketer knows that so called ‘junk mail’ is not a popular form of marketing – except when it is. A paradox. Consumers forget the junk label, when the piece of DM resonates with them. For example a piece of mail offering 20 per cent off new garden furniture when theirs has just broken. Or a voucher for a newly opened coffee shop round the corner.

Marketers need to act responsibly and go against their instinct to spread their brand messaging as far and wide as possible. Instead they need to trim the database on a campaign by campaign basis segmenting their customers and targeting only those that might genuinely be interested or at the very least rotating the database so that the number of pieces one person receives from that brand is reduced so that it doesn’t become a nuisance. Whilst this approach goes against the inbuilt marketer’s inclination it will deliver in spades.