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The most recent in a series of CIM events hosted by Elevation Recruitment, has seen senior marketing leadership from across the region come together to discuss and debate the challenges and opportunities of running a Marketing division in the modern day.

The events, called ‘Senior Marketers’ Breakfasts’, were held in York and Leeds where a dozen Marketing Directors discussed and debated topics including, “How to get Marketing and Sales to work better together”, “How to retain your best Marketing talent” and “Are we all getting to wrapped up in digital marketing and missing a trick with targeted direct marketing?”  chaired by David Bromwich, Associate Director at Elevation Recruitment Group.

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David said, “These sessions are always really productive, we try to invite leaders from different industries and market sectors to gain different perspectives on the topics we discuss. This helps attendees to gain helpful insight and, in some cases, take inspiration from others around the table and apply new strategies to their own business challenges.

As GDPR has had been such a hot topic in previous sessions and most of us around the table were heavily involved in gearing up for it’s launch on the 25 May and so we purposely steered the focus away from that on to more refreshing topics.

Digital marketing expenditures have gone through the roof over the past few years. That trend doesn’t show any sign of changing. Spending on digital initiatives such as websites, e-commerce and digital advertising all increased in 2017 and forecasts suggest those numbers will continue to rise in 2018.

Regardless of whether your business is consumer facing or B2B, investments in e-commerce accounted for about 18% of total marketing budgets in 2017. Based on consumer buying trends, companies will continue to invest in different ways to reach their consumers in a transactional way. The consensus around the table was that digital is vital to business growth and that the insight and analytics that can be achieved from it really help to shape the direction and strategy of a business. That said, everybody also agreed that well targeted and thought-out direct marketing still has its place and that it’s something we all need to continue to do. One of the greatest reasons for why direct mail still works is that it is hyper-personalised. Direct marketing allows you to address your audience by name and personalise your message towards them. Any post personally addressed to potential customers prompts curiosity, so often leads to a higher engagement conversion than e-marketing techniques.

Here are the key reasons why everyone felt it was still relevant:

1)            Direct mail marketing is tangible…..

One of the benefits of direct mail marketing is that it is tangible; you can touch the campaign. While we live in a world where all information and ads are available at our fingertips, you can’t quite beat the ability to hold your direct mail. It adds the personal touch and increases the response rate, the only marketing campaign that allows you to place your message or services physically into your target audience’s hands.

We all look forward to seeing what we have received through the post, even if it is ‘junk mail,’ and this exact feeling is what improves responses. Even if your target customers give your direct mail campaign a cursory glance - they have still been exposed to your services and brand.

2)            It stands out amongst emails…...

The average person receives huge numbers of junk emails per day, so your campaign often gets lost in the sea of emails. In fact, we get so many emails that we could not possibly go through them all, leaving your efforts wasted. However, you can guarantee your targeted consumer will, at the very least, pick up your direct mail marketing campaign, leaving your business fresh in their mind.

3)            Direct Mail is Personal…..

The key to a successful direct mail campaign is a combination of data, personalisation and design. A well designed and personalised campaign will have 36% higher chance of cutting through the clutter and being opened, rather than just a generic “to the owner” addressed message.

     4)        Direct Mail is Clever…..

Social media and almost all websites are awash with overwhelming ads and competing messages. You cannot go online or check your social media without seeing pop up ads, which 72% of users deem ‘annoying.’ This is where direct mail marketing is clever, as it takes you away from the chaotic online world and hones your message. If there’s a piece of direct mail that’s relevant to you and piques your interest, you might even settle down for five minutes to read the direct mail marketing delivered to your door.

There were numerous examples shared of successful, and also failed, campaigns, along with personal experiences of being targeted by imaginative and highly memorable DM which had clearly had a lasting impact on all of us. It’s very easy in the modern day to lose sight of traditional marketing techniques and rely so heavily on digital, but it was pleasing to hear unanimously that direct marketing is still very much alive and well.

The next Senior Marketers Breakfast is on 27 September in Hull and then 27 November in York. 

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If you would like to take part in future Senior Marketer Breakfast events, please visit for further information, or contact David Bromwich directly at to confirm your seat at the table.