Greene: ‘We can rebuild direct mail’

Royal Mail boss Moya Greene believes the postal operator can increase its revenues from direct mail – which currently claws in £1bn for the company – despite a general decline in mail volumes and the continued rise of digital marketing.
Speaking at the World Mail and Express Europe conference in Geneva this week, chief executive Greene highlighted the potential of direct mail for her business, although much of her growth plans appeared to be in parcels – both at home through Parcelforce and abroad through GLS.
She said: “We are achieving a £1bn revenue from direct mail – direct marketing via the mail has the highest return for any marketing spend, and we believe it levers the core network beautifully.”
Greene said Royal Mail was building on its direct mail opportunity with a new “Market Reach” service, putting all the assets involved in direct marketing in one place to add value to the DM chain.
“We think we can grow our position in that market now, so mail retains a larger part of national revenues,” said Greene.
Her assurances fly in the face of the facts, however, with a recent report from WARC showing mail volumes will decline this year and the latest IPA Bellwether Report showing DM budgets had been revised down.
There is also the small matter of digital advertising, which goes from strength to strength. The latest figures from the IAB show that online advertising is now worth more than £5bn a year.
One industry source said: “She’s living in cloud cuckoo-land. Direct mail will never return to the ‘glory years’…it’s simply too expensive. Granted, it still has a place in the marketing mix but more as a relationship building medium than for acquisition marketing.”

Related stories:
Online advertising spend hits £5bn
Digital spend shores up confidence

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