Speaking at the Mail and Express Delivery Show this week, Harman – who joined the business in October last year – maintained that digital marketing was not the enemy. He added: “A modern digital society cannot function without a letterbox. But we must explore how digital and mail can work together.”
Harman said Royal Mail was looking to invest significant sums over the next three years to partner with customers to work on measuring and improving direct mail return on investment.
He said that among the innovations that Royal Mail is currently developing is a smarter use of customer data, to beef up targeting techniques. This includes barcoded mail technology that will allow better analysis of direct marketing campaigns as well as improving delivery services themselves.
“This could be truly transformational,” Harman claimed, adding that “it’s not too far to go to think that with this we will be able to offer our own kind of Google Analytics”.
“I believe that mail has a great future to look forward to. Mail can do things in terms of deepening the customer engagement that no other channel can do,” he said. “We need to make that clear, and we will only do that by thinking and acting like a market leader.”
Harman pointed to market leaders in other industries, such as Unilever in the consumer goods sector, and suggested that a key to companies being successful as market leaders was that they continually evolve “to maintain relevance in a changing world”.
“We will promote the unique value of mail, providing thought leadership and practical guidance,” he said. “We are going to go out there and prove that mail creates deeper customer relationships.”
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