The changing world of direct marketing is due to be mapped afresh
next week. The conference held in conjunction with the London
International Direct Marketing Fair at Wembley promises to update the
professionals and induct novices in techniques and trends.
Delegates will include a wide cross-section of middle-to-senior
management who want to learn about the subject and how to apply it in
their companies, says Michael York Palmer, managing director of Response
Marketing, one of the conference organisers.
Probably the busiest speaker will be marketing guru John
As well as presenting two one-man masterclasses, he is giving ’Breakfast
with JFR’ meetings every morning, complete with Danish pastry and coffee
for those who make the 9am schedule.
Frazer-Robinson’s first masterclass is ’Thrive or Survive’. ’This is a
strategy session, getting people to understand the true potential of
working their customer base,’ he explains.
’Most companies are running the bath with the plug out. The taps are
full on, but the damn thing isn’t filling up,’ he claims. ’CEOs have
been staring at it for decades without being able to work out what’s
What’s going down the drain, despite the preoccupation with loyalty
campaigns, is ’the huge potential that lies within their existing
Most loyalty campaigns end up being bribes of one sort another,’
’Bribes might win short-term fidelity, but they don’t build loyalty.
What I am trying to do is to get companies to uncover the marketing
miracles that lie around them unseen.’
During his presentation, he will reveal ’The Ten Irrefutable Laws of
Profitable Sales and Marketing’. Such as? ’I haven’t written them yet,’
he confesses. But he undertakes to have been up the mountain and
returned with the tablets by the time of the conference.
Frazer-Robinson’s other masterclass is ’The Secrets of Effective Direct
Mail’. This is aimed at ’people who are new into a large company at
marketing manager or a similar level, or directors of smaller companies
who want to make the most of direct mail’.
And there will be a third masterclass by the peripatetic Belgian Erik
Van Vooren, who spends 70% of his time travelling the world, lecturing
in four languages on direct marketing. In ’Customer Bonding’, he will
seek to describe three levels of loyalty programmes.
’The basis is the TLC (’tender loving care’) programme, which recognises
the client as an individual and provides good human contact. On that,
you can build the learning relationship. This is for bigger companies in
more complex markets where, through interactions with customers,
questionnaires and deduction, you try to know your customers better, try
to anticipate their needs and problems, and offer solutions.’ A database
is not essential for ’TLC’, but becomes necessary for the learning
As Van Vooren observes: ’The driver for the customer to be loyal is not
only recognition, but convenience and security ... that he is aware your
company knows him, serves him in the way he wants to be served and
provides the security that he can rely on what you will offer him’.
The third layer of loyalty, what Van Vooren describes as ’the cream on
the tart’ (doubtless a Belgian expression), is the reward programme.
Unfortunately, most programmes start and finish with this.
’You can not save a marriage by telling a partner if you stay home this
evening I will give you ten points and if you are here for breakfast I
will double them,’ he observes. ’If you forget your partner’s birthday,
or are never there when you are needed, the reward programme will never
Loyalty is a recurring topic. Michael York Palmer will preside over a
day on ’How to Create Customer Loyalty’. The use of technology will be
explored, including ’data mining’ and ’intelligent agent’ software,
which enables individuals to have their own software to select and find
their personal preferences on the Internet.
’The A-Z of Direct Marketing’ will spread across two days, conducted by
high-profile direct marketers Judith Donovan, founder and chairman of
the JDA agency, and Arthur Bell, who heads Scotland Direct. Bell, writes
much of his own copy and has so far won seven Direct Marketing
Association first place awards with the work for his Scottish Gourmet
and Whisky Connoisseur clubs.
The first day is described as ’a fundamental guide to everything you
always wanted to know about direct marketing but were afraid to
The second day is more advanced and ’tries to move direct marketing from
the foothills to the Gods’.
A workshop on consumer targeting will be handled by Sarah Denner-Brown,
head of training and consultancy company SDB Talking Direct. It aims to
demystify database marketing for companies about to embark upon this
The special ’financial services day’ will be chaired by Phillip Haynes,
a director of Business Development Tools. ’The concentration on
financial services within direct marketing is very high now and it is
the largest spending category,’ he notes. ’In the programme will be a
status report on who is doing what in the market.’
Among the speakers will be Guardian Direct managing director Michael
Tripp, who will look at trends and developments. One of these is the the
way in which pensions have joined motor and household insurance as
products which can be sold over the telephone.
Other financial heavyweights due to be represented will be NatWest, Save
and Prosper, Lombard TriCity, Abbey National and Scottish Life.
Stuart Mewburn, creative director of City Financial Services, is taking
the challenging theme ’Creativity: the worst thing ever to happen to
financial direct marketing’.
And in ’Beyond the Power of Words,’ Evans Hunt Scott creative director
Terry Hunt and Institute of Direct Marketing chairman George Smith will
cast their quizzical eyes over the current standards of copywriting.
’A lot of the new media are very visual and are not word-based in the
traditional sense,’ says Hunt. ’But writing skill is still critical and
you have to learn different ways of using words to maximum effect.’
Smith will also chair an all-day programme on ’Direct Marketing for
Fundraisers’. ’This is undoubtedly one of the most sophisticated sectors
in the whole of direct marketing,’ he points out. ’Its features are the
intelligent use of databases and increasing creative sophistication.
’Fundraisers cannot afford to deploy the considerable creative budgets
that their commercial cousins do. And at the same time, they have to
work at achieving much higher response rates than does the commercial
Telemarketing techniques is another subject which claims a full day.
The programme will be chaired by L&R Group director Simon Roncoroni, who
notes: ’The telephone is moving from being a tactical promotional tool
to a strategic part of the customer interface, an integrated part of the
This is being driven by technology, which is’developing at a
mind-dazzling pace’. But ’there are some warning bells - we might lose
the human element and technology might take over,’ cautions
A home shopping day will be conducted by Dr Peter Tomkins, vice-chairman
of the DMA Catalogue & Home Shopping Council. He points out that, while
the majority of the market is still claimed by the agency-type
catalogues of the major mail order houses, the growth areas are niche
and direct catalogues.
He sees a review of electronic shopping as an important part of the
’We are trying to help participants assess when and how they should be
getting into that area,’ explains Tomkins.
’For example, you can spend a lot of money putting pages on the Internet
for very little return. Interactive TV, although very limited at
present, will probably be the way forward.’
Direct-response TV will be addressed by Tony Darell-Brown of Direct
Broadcast Media Services. He observes that the UK is behind most of the
rest of Europe in having only four terrestrial TV channels (five when
Channel 5 goes on air) and with only 25% of homes having access to
satellite or cable stations.
But things are changing, he says. The choice will be enormously expanded
with the introduction shortly of digital TV. ’Next year or the year
after, your direct marketing plans will probably include television - or
at least have a very good reason for excluding it.’
The business-to-business day will be chaired by Richard Jeans,
consultant director at Carey Howell Jeans & Spira. He notices in this
sector ’a higher degree of sophistication and yet a lessening degree of
The conference is being employed by the Direct Marketing Association as
a pre-runner to its public awareness campaign about consumer
This is due to be launched in the spring.
’We felt that it was important to let the direct marketing industry know
about it, whether they are members of the association or not,’ says DMA
legal director Colin Fricker.
’Self-regulation is more effective than legislation, so long as the
governance of self-regulation, including sanctions, is there,’ he adds.
’To have sanctions, you really need to have the full support of the
The public awareness campaign will include a hot-line to deal with
queries about direct marketing and how to contact the appropriate
The DMA-sponsored session will introduce the industry’s regulators and
describe their activities and responsibilities.
Also at the conference will be a career development day organised by
Women in Direct Marketing, a marketing day for publishers, and an
Institute of Direct Marketing educators’ day.
Tuesday March 11
Masterclass: Thrive or Survive
How to: Beyond the Power of words
How to Create Customer Loyalty
The A-Z of Direct Marketing
Wednesday March 12
Masterclass: Customer Bonding
How to: The Telephone - A Powerful Selling
A-Z Part 2
Marketing Update: Marketing Day for Publishers
DM for Fundraisers
UK Home Shopping Update
Thursday March 13
Masterclass: Secrets of Effective Direct Mail
How to: Consumer Targeting
Market Update: Business-to-Business Direct
Industry: IDM Educators’ Day
London International Direct Marketing Fair
The number of exhibitors booked for the 1997 London International Direct
Marketing Fair at Wembley is pushing towards the 300 mark. If attendance
matches that of last year, there will be some 12,000 visitors during the
three days, March 11-13.
So that everybody finds what interests them, the organiser, Reed
Exhibitions, is installing a push-button computerised product locator.
This will highlight the appropriate stands and provide a route map to
The products and services represented are:
Plastic card technology
Postal Postroom and mailing equipment