Week in view – w/e September 1st 2006

SimonGeneral0 Comments

Most weeks I see a few things that I’d like to blog, but don’t have the time during the week. So I thought I’d try just saving them until the end of the week when I have a bit more time to do a round-up.

That’s not to say I won’t blog in the week as well, but will hopefully be able to cover a bit more ground by producing a round-up as well.
I spotted a very thought provoking post about how marketers tend to focus efforts on acquiring new customers, and don’t spend much time or effort on existing customers. Seth Godin weighed in his support, but Darren Barefoot had a different take on Kathy’s post. Didn’t mean to, but ended up writing a full post about this after all.

On a personal note it was heartening this week to see a report in New Media Age (UK) that the country’s leading digital satellite TV provider, Sky, is to consider running more interactive television adverts in commercial breaks. Then change comes as news broke that 93% of satellite homes had interacted with an advert during the first half of this year.

I was working at Open… (now part of BSkyB) when the first ever interactive advert was broadcast. It felt like a defining moment in interactive television, and it was. Six years on the channel has come of age, both in terms of interactive editorial content and interactive advertising.

As Neville and Shel would say, there was much kerfuffle in the UK earlier in the week about “junk mail”. The whole story kicked off on Tuesday when it emerged that the Royal Mail had suspended postman Roger Annies for producing material telling his customers how to reduce the amount of “junk mail” they received. Apparently there was a well-kept secret about how to opt-out of a certain type of “junk mail” – namely unaddressed items that were delivered by Royal Mail.

However the housewife’s read Daily Mail picked up on the story and started one of its beloved campaigns to reduce the amount of “junk mail” received. It kindly added a front page splash on Wednesday as well. Royal Mail was unable to cope with the volume of opt-outs to a previously very low profile phoneline.

Leaving aside the questionable PR handling of the issue, the situation for Royal Mail is difficult. The company makes significant revenue from delivering 3.3bn door to door items annually, so to have mass opt-outs would reduce this revenue and make door to door a less attractive delivery option for direct marketers and public service communicators.

I’m working tomorrow (Saturday) at stage five of the Tour of Britain cycle race on behalf of Medway Council. Weather forecast isn’t great, but it’ll be interesting all the same to see how we can take advantage of large-scale events like the tour as experiential marketing opportunities. The Tour de France starts in London in 2007 and runs through Medway so will be a great opportunity – the challenge for me as a marketer is to make sure we take advantage to achieve our communication goals.

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