JIC Mail

Direct mail industry bodies and businesses have teamed up for a major initiative to record standardised audience data for the channel for the first time. The DMA, IPA, ISBA, Royal Mail and Whistl are among those who make up the board of the Joint Industry Committee for Mail (JIC Mail), which launched last night (18 January).

The organisation will measure the readership, reach and frequency of exposure for each piece of direct mail delivered in the UK, whether addressed or unaddressed. The second phase of the research, beginning in the summer, will also include data on share of voice, split by brand and category, according to JIC Mail chair and DMA Group CEO Chris Combemale.

The JIC Mail methodology, similar to that of BARB’s data on TV audiences, involves a nationally representative research sample of 1,000 people run by Kantar TNS, who photograph what comes through their letterbox and record their subsequent actions over four weeks.

Any objective audience measurement is overdue if it doesn’t already exist. The only one outstanding after mail will be independent verification of online audiences.

The data is intended to give brands and media agencies more information to assist in media planning, rather than only being able to judge mail’s effectiveness using retrospective measures such as the return on investment of a campaign. It may go some way to reversing direct mail’s loss of ground to other marketing channels, which have offered standardised audience data for some time.

Combemale believes the data could make a “huge difference” to the perception and evaluation of direct mail as a marketing…