5 minutes with… Stephanie Irving

Name: Stephanie Irving

Job Title: Account Manager

First job in the industry: My first job was in this industry was an Account Executive here at Dragonfly! I started in 2015, I had just graduated from university and was excited to take up a role in marketing.

Area of expertise: Project/client management. I love the huge variety of projects you get to work on here at Dragonfly. From high end luxury brochures for jewellers to mandatory insurance mailings. Every project is different and every client is different – which makes it all very exciting (and challenging at times!)

What do you love most about print media? I love the journey you go on with print media, starting from the initial strategy and client’s objectives, delving into how we think best to achieve these objectives, implementing the campaign and then seeing the results. Each stage is so different, planning is all about the strategy then we get into the physical piece so that’s all about creative/stocks/sizes, and then the campaign goes live and you monitor responses. This part is particularly interesting when doing testing as it’s very fascinating to see how the smallest of changes to creative can make a big difference to responses.

If you could give one piece of print/postage advice what would it be? Make your print item stand out from the crowd. Think outside of the box of how to really make it work for you. And very importantly, always have your customer head on i.e. If I received this piece, what would I think about it? Cliché but you only get one chance to make a good impression, so it’s imperative you spend the time and effort making that first impression as good as it can possibly be.

What inspires you when it comes to direct mail? The market is always changing and evolving. There are constantly new pieces of kit being created, new techniques being developed and there is so much insight available to us, analysing campaign performance.

What is the most important thing you have learned since working in the marketing/creative industries? The importance of combining your marketing activity both in a creative sense but also timing. Make sure there is a link between everything – print, TV, radio, online, social media.

What is the best thing about direct mail? How creative you can be with it, the unquantifiable range of formats, stocks, sizes, weights that are available to you.

Worst habits in relation to DM that you see? Companies miscommunicating their brand, for example putting out DM pieces with creative which doesn’t reflect their brand or it’s values. It creates a confused message about what their message is. Also, when companies send out DM pieces with no CTA, or a very unclear CTA – it’s the most important part!

What gets you excited about DM? How easily you can talk to each customer on an individual level – it’s all about investing time/effort in the initial stages i.e. data. Making sure you are targeting the right people – it sounds obvious but many people don’t go back to basics on this as much as they should!

Dream client? I love working with clients who are B2C and have a clear journey for their customers. So a dream client would be M&S or Boots!

What is your proudest piece of work? The Laing the Jeweller DM campaigns to tell customers they were changing their brand name in the south of England from ‘Parkhouse’ to ‘Laing’. The piece had to communicate that although the name was changing, the company was still staying under the same management. The first mailing was sent to their highest spenders, a stunning piece on the finest GF Smith stocks, but with very intricate die cutting and foiling which opened up to reveal a letter in handwritten font from the owner. The piece was enclosed into a GF Smith envelope. The second campaign was for the next tier of spenders was also on beautiful GF Smith stock and was a one-piece mailer that had a zip perf to reveal the new name of the store. Also very beautiful! The whole campaign took over two months to develop and create and it was received excellently, with Laings reporting very little drop off from customers.

Favourite ad/marketing campaign? My favourite is the Heathrow Christmas advert. They carry the theme of ‘coming home’ through each year, it’s such an emotive advert and really captures how special it is to come home at Christmas to your family. Gets me every time!