At the end of September the results of the latest ONEPOST sponsored Sustainability tracking study were published and launched at the Mayfair Conference Centre in London.

To view video clips of the event please click here

Clearly reflecting the interest in this important subject, the event attracted a large turnout and those present were keen to learn the findings of the second DMA Study (previous report December 2009), carried out by fast.MAP.

The aim of the tracker is to monitor the way in which environmental issues are influencing consumer choice of brands and products and thus help direct marketers to identify opportunities and anticipate areas of challenge created by environmental concerns and issues.
Some of the key findings included:
  • 88% strongly agree/ agree that they proactively recycle in the home. This represents a 3.5% increase since December 2009
  • A quarter of people state they are swayed by media coverage – up from a previous 17%
  • Consumers have definite views about which communication methods they feel are most environmentally friendly, but these do not alwaysmatch the ways in which they prefer to be contacted
There are continuing positive signals for the use of direct mail, which remains as the second most preferred method of communication from marketing companies:
  • 32% state direct mail as their most preferred form of communication, providing they already have an existing relationship with the company
  • And where there is no existing relationship direct mail is still a fairly robust medium with 20% of respondents stating that this was still their preferred way of receiving communications
However, mailers must also be aware that the public perception of direct mail being environmentally friendly does not make such positive reading with only 8% believing that it makes the least environmental impact.
These findings come shortly after the announcement earlier this year that the direct marketing sector had met and even exceeded the tough voluntary recycling targets set in conjunction with Defra.
Yet, there was little media coverage for this significant achievement. So maybe that is the challenge for our industry… to better promote ourselves in the media and thereby improve the public perception of our green credentials.
As is confirmed in this study, the media remains as a powerful medium to influence consumer perceptions.  The question of media coverage and changing perceptions was raised at the presentation/networking event and we were fortunate to have the services of Liz Barclay (presenter of Radio 4’s You and Yours) who chaired the panel session.  Liz agreed that it is indeed a challenge – and an opportunity – for our industry to feed the media with regular information regarding positive developments. In doing so, we can at least respond to the more negative perceptions posed by the consumer.
It will be interesting to monitor changing consumer perceptions in the coming months and years – albeit we understand that it is ‘bad news that sells’…!
To view video clips of the event please click here
For a copy of the research report please email marketing@onepost.co.uk
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