The IDM is aiming to tap into the direct mail revival by launching the first ever professional qualification in the UK solely dedicated to the medium after joining forces with Royal Mail’s MarketReach division.
Since its inception in 1987, the IDM Diploma in Direct Marketing has been viewed as a ‘must-have’ qualification for anyone in the industry, whether client, agency or supplier side.
And although direct mail is incorporated in the diploma, the training body insists that the IDM Award in Direct Mail has been created in response to demand from brands for greater specialism in direct mail; both in their own marketing departments and in the agencies they employ.
The launch of the new qualification, which is open to marketing professionals and students, comes amid a revival in direct mail’s fortunes, despite doom-mongers’ predictions that the medium would soon whither and die.
Direct mail remains the third-largest medium by spend – behind TV and online – regularly topping £2bn a year. And with more and more questions being raised about the effectiveness of digital marketing, and the costs of TV advertising still barring most brands, many believe direct mail could see a significant rise in budgets.
The IDM claims the course will equip participants with the professional skills required to produce and execute direct mail as part of a multichannel campaign. It will cover the unique attributes and benefits of direct mail in the digital world, how to plan a direct mail campaign from creative to production, as well as managing data and compliance.
The IDM Award in Direct Mail, equivalent to a level-4 professional qualification or Higher National Certificate, costs £595. The online training and course resources are provided by a range of industry experts, including Royal Mail MarketReach, and delivered through webinars and video content.
The IDM, as the only government-approved institute for the professional development of direct and digital marketers, has recognised the current gap in the UK’s marketing industry around skills specific to direct mail.
IDM managing director Jane Cave said: “Direct mail remains a vibrant and dynamic part of the marketing mix. In terms of cost-effective acquisition, demonstrable results, and outstanding engagement through creativity and multi-sensory stimulation, direct is hard to beat. In a world where consumer choice makes CRM increasingly difficult, direct marketing will continue to evolve while proving its worth. “
MarketReach managing director Jonathan Harman added: “Within the modern media ecosystem, direct mail is unique in its ability to fuse the personal and physical. To ensure that mail continues to deliver on its promises for consumers and advertisers, we are committed to helping marketers get the best possible results from their investment in mail. This course is one of the things we do to support that.”
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