Mastering the basics is key to campaign success – in sports and marketing

Mastering the basics is key to campaign success

10/04/2016

This summer has offered a never-ending feast of sport, from the cold cricket pitches of the north of England to the shiny football stadiums of France, from the rugby pitches of Australia to the green grass of Wimbledon and of course the Olympics. As ever, it is this summer's moments of individual brilliance and breath-taking athleticism that will live longest in the memory. 

This summer has offered a never-ending feast of sport, from the cold cricket pitches of the north of England to the shiny football stadiums of France, from the rugby pitches of Australia to the green grass of Wimbledon and of course the Olympics. As ever, it is this summer's moments of individual brilliance and breath-taking athleticism that will live longest in the memory. Robson-Kanu's Cruyff turn or Sam Querry's victory over Djokovic encapsulate the romance and excitement of sport.

While sports fans elevate the individual contribution, the moment of genius, in our heads, we know that what really separates winners from losers, good performances from bad is mastery of the basics. The same holds true for marketing.

Advertising and direct marketing professionals love to honour their industry's most brilliant and creative work, those water-cooler campaigns that get everyone talking. However, they know that when it comes to the important matter of campaign response and conversion rates, what really matters is getting the basics right.

Royal Mail Data Services recently asked businesses what they thought were the most important factors in determining the success of a marketing campaign1. At the top of the list, cited by 75%, was address quality, followed by targeting and analysis (73%), campaign timing (70%) and personalisation (70%). Campaign creative was in fifth place, cited by 62%.

Given the importance respondents attach to address data – and the time and money lavished on campaign creative – it seems perverse that less than half make accurate address capture a priority within their own organisations. Only 46% automatically validate address data gathered online and just 45% automatically check contact details collected through internal systems.

Maintaining up-to-date, accurate, properly formatted contact details won't just lead to more successful marketing campaigns. It will also:

  • ensure important messages are delivered successfully;
  • prevent duplication;
  • eliminate the waste and expense of undeliverable mailings;
  • protect an organisation's reputation for professionalism;
  • help qualify for Royal Mail Business Mail discounts;
  • enable the automation and pre-sorting of mailings;
  • save time by minimising the number of undeliverable returns that need to be processed; and.
  • reduce the risk of incurring fines for the accidental disclosure of confidential information, for example by sending material to the wrong person.


Neopost offers a number of solutions to help businesses maintain accurate contact details, from Data Improver, a simple web-based list cleaning service, to Bulk Mailer, which combines address management with mail piece design and the organisation of mailings to maximise postal discounts. Output Management Software is a CCM tool which helps to optimise outgoing communications to customers and extends communications possibilities beyond physical mail.

Given that 88% of businesses surveyed by Royal Mail Data Services cite their website as the primary source for gathering address details, one of the most useful is Capture, which corrects and validates addresses at point of capture online or over the phone. As address details are entered, Capture autofills fields, minimising the number of keystrokes a customer or call centre agent needs to make and ensuring addresses are captured with the correct formatting.

Life events – the hidden marketing key to solving customer churn, Royal Mail Data Services, 2016, www.royalmail.com

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