Category Archive: Interview

  1. 5 minutes with…Andrea Finkel-Gates from Scotland’s Housing Network

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    Name: Andrea Finkel-Gates

    Job title: CEO

    Organisation: Scotland’s Housing Network

    How did you get your current job / how long have you worked in your current role?

    I’ve been in my current role for 16 months now, ten of those months have been during lockdown.  I think the passing of time is quite surreal during lockdown, we have been restricted to our homes for such a long time you would think that time would go by slowly but it has been quite the opposite, the hours, days and weeks just fly by in a blur.

    What do you enjoy most in your role?

    I come with a background in the education sector not housing, however, I have a strong moral compass and a sense of social justice.  I love seeing the work that our members do and the real impact that a good quality affordable home has on the lives of individuals and society as a whole.  There are more similarities than differences between housing and education

    What is the craziest thing you have bought during lockdown?

    I’m a spender not a saver in general, lockdown hasn’t changed that.  We have welcomed a new addition to the family during lockdown, a crazy cocker spaniel named Munro.

    Have you signed up to any new mail order subscriptions? If so, what and why and do you think you will stick with it after COVID-19?

    National Geographic magazine, I bought an Everest special edition during lockdown and enjoyed the quality of the journalism – and the brilliance in the photography.

    What sort of mail do you receive at home?

    Business mail, now we’re remote working.

    What do you think direct marketing / mail / print will look like a year from now?

    We receive so much electronically now it seems something of a novelty when we receive something via mail.

    What is the greatest challenge your company has faced during this crisis?

    Not being able to get out and about and see our members in person.  We miss the personal touch.

    What has been your favourite act of kindness you have seen during this crisis?

    There’s not a single act I can point out.  I do think that there’s a stronger sense of community spirit.

    As a customer how important is personalisation to you?

    Very, it makes you feel valued.

    What is the most memorable campaign you can think of?


    Are there any brands or professionals in your industry you admire?

    The whole sector, for the difference that they make in the lives of all their tenants.

  2. 5 minutes with… Rebecca from Hamilton & Inches

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    Name: Rebecca Laing

    Job title: Marketing Manager

    Organisation: Hamilton & Inches           

    How did you get your current job / how long have you worked in your current role?
    I have worked at Hamilton & Inches as Marketing Manager for one year. I previously worked for another jeweller in Edinburgh then moved to an agency to gain more experience in the world of PR. When the role at Hamilton & Inches came up, I knew it was too good an opportunity to pass up! It has been an amazing journey to learn about the world of H&I and work first-hand with the incredible jewellers and silversmiths in the company.

    What do you enjoy most in your role?
    Seeing the incredible array of silverware and jewellery made by the team of silversmiths and jewellers in our workshops. The talent and skills that our workshop team have is staggering and they make it all look so effortless. There is something truly special about presenting our clients with a bespoke piece or talking them through the creation process and them realising the time and expertise that has gone into it. Our new Engagement Collection is the prime example of this as our first ever collection of hand-crafted engagement rings made right in the heart of Edinburgh.
    It is also very special to see the journey our showroom team take clients on. From purchasing a watch which has been a lifelong goal to an engagement ring, there is a lot of emotional and sentimentality behind our customers’ purchases. We’re very fortunate to be a part of this and do everything we can to make it as special as possible for the customers.

    Is there anything about you that you think people would be surprised to know?
    Many people perhaps don’t know that our workshops are actually located right above our showroom on George Street in the middle of the city. Our silversmith and goldsmiths are truly what makes Hamilton & Inches so unique and why we have held a Royal Warrant to The Queen for over 120 years. It makes our jewellery and silverware even more special when people realise it has been designed and created upstairs in the workshops.

    Once lockdown eases the world as we know will still be a very different place, what do you think the biggest positive change will be once this is all over?
    Hopefully, people will no longer take for granted the small things like meeting up with friends for dinner and visiting family. It has allowed everyone to take a step back and appreciate the freedoms we have and how these were often taken for granted in the past.

    What is the greatest challenge your company has faced during this crisis?
    We offer a very personal service which often requires personal interaction and/or a visit to our showroom. We’ve missed seeing our clients smiling faces and the joy a special purchase or gift can bring. Thankfully, our showroom has now reopened and it’s great for us to once again welcome our clients and start celebrating special occasions, proposals and anniversaries that have been missed over the last few months.

  3. 5 minutes with… Georgia from Montpeliers

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    Name: Georgia Noble

    Job title: Marketing & Social Media Curator

    Organisation: Montpeliers Ltd   

    What do you enjoy most in your role?

    I love how different my role is day to day, each day is so different. I feel I am always learning so much while working as social media is constantly evolving. The role is very fast-paced and you are required to be really adaptable and manage your time, but I love being busy so for me it keeps me super motivated! I particularly enjoy creating new content with our team, influencers and brands across the company as it allows me to be creative!

    Is there anything about you that you think people would be surprised to know?

    When I’m not working in my Marketing & Social Media role, I’m a singer! Before lockdown I had a Thursday night slot at Montpeliers in Bruntsfield and Cold Town House on a Sunday afternoon with my brother Harry.

    Once lockdown eases the world as we know will still be a very different place, what do you think the biggest positive change will be once this is all over?

    I think lockdown has allowed people to reflect and take the time to think about how they would like to ‘be’ when they emerge from lockdown. For me personally it has allowed me to reconnect with family and friends and I feel really grateful I had them throughout lockdown. I was very busy before lockdown and didn’t feel I had the time to slow down which during that time I was able to do just that!

    Are there any brands or professionals in your industry you admire?

    I love to use Instagram and Pinterest for ideas and inspiration and follow women who have really pushed their businesses and careers using Instagram as a ‘business’ platform. Accounts such as @negin_mirsalehi who owns Gisou is a very inspirational role model for me for me alongside @katherine_ormerod who has a great mix of style, written content and her personal life!

    Which brands do you think are marketing themselves well during COVID-19 and why?

    I personally thought Defected Records @defectedrecords and @glitterboxibiza have marketed themselves so well during COVID-19 across all of their social media channels. They have not only had to cancel hundreds of gigs, shows and performances but they thought outside the box and brought everyone an ‘at home’ Defected Virtual Festival which really kept peoples spirits up during lockdown alongside positive social media messages.

  4. 5 minutes with… Mark from Whistl

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    Name: Mark Davies

    Job title: Managing Director

    Organisation: Whistl (Doordrop Media) Ltd

    How did you get your current job / how long have you worked in your current role?

    I worked in the travel industry for 10 years which in my twenties was fantastic. I worked primarily with a US audience and lived on both coasts and in Barcelona and Amsterdam for a few years. Then in 2000 I got married and this meant I wanted to move back to England and travel less. Then in 2001 9/11 happened and this meant Americans wanted to travel less. So right at the start of 2003 I got a job as an Account Director with a company called Circular Distributors who did these things called doordrops. 5 years later I became Managing Director.

    Is there anything about you that you think people would be surprised to know?

    In my ‘missing year’ of 2002 when I was looking for a new direction I wrote a novel. I turned 50 this year and having re-read it recently and realised it is in fact the greatest book never published I have decided that my present to myself will be to get it published this year.

    What is the craziest thing you have bought during lockdown?

    We had planned a mad year of holidays to celebrate our 50th birthdays which has of course been decimated by Covid-19. So with the refunded deposit of one such holiday I bought a pop-up swimming pool for our children. If we can’t go on holiday then the holiday will have to come to us and happily, by and large, the UK weather has played ball!

    Once lockdown eases the world as we know will still be a very different place, what do you think the biggest positive change will be once this is all over?

    I am literally staggered by what my amazing team has achieved during lockdown. I hope that this experience will forever rid any nagging doubts about the effectiveness of flexible working and that the work/life balance will be literally that. Balanced. I am also excited about the environmental benefits of lockdown for the planet we’re leaving behind for our children and am supportive of all efforts to try to capitalise on the positive impacts we have witnessed since March.

    What do you think direct marketing / mail / print will look like a year from now?

    I am passionate about our industry and have an innate love of what works. I personally believe the rush to digital media has been a sort of collective madness that in time will be viewed as a somewhat embarrassing episode in the history of marketing. I see results from all the channels used by our clients and the smart ones – the ones who take the time to measure beyond last click attribution; who don’t choose their media based on its cheapness; who don’t take Google Analytics as the gospel truth and who don’t believe that people wake up one morning and spontaneously type their brand into a search engine – they see print media for the many splendored benefits it brings and also see digital media in its appropriate context. With social media boycotts, outrageous data privacy scandals, tighter regulatory controls coming and in some cases some genuinely poor performance, digital media is losing its shine. Direct marketing has had its turbulent years – GDPR, Brexit and now Covid-19 – but I remain supremely optimistic that the channels have developed, innovated and proved their worth. It may take more than a year but I firmly believe that the next ten years for our industry is significantly better than our last ten years; I also think that digital’s next ten years is going to be nowhere near as good as its last.

  5. 5 minutes with… Grant from People’s Postcode Library

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    Name: Grant Shaw        

    Job title: Print Marketing Manager

    Organisation: People’s Postcode Lottery

    How did you get your current job / how long have you worked in your current role?

    I’ve worked at People’s Postcode Lottery for nearly 4 years after moving to Edinburgh from Aberdeen where I worked in the marketing team for a mail order online butcher.  My fiancé got a new job down here, which is why we decided to make the move.  I was lucky enough to find a job at the lottery relatively quickly, starting as marketing executive before being promoted to print marketing manager after about a year.

    What do you enjoy most in your role?

    I really enjoy the variety of projects that I get to work on, which all contributes towards the fantastic work the lottery does.  From developing our print acquisition strategy to being involved with the charitable content and even internal marketing and PR there is always something new to get stuck into.  The most satisfaction I get though is knowing that what we do here is making people’s lives better.  Players have raised more than £500M for over 7,500 good causes since we started and it’s good to know that I have contributed to that in some way.

    Once lockdown eases the world as we know will still be a very different place, what do you think the biggest positive change will be once this is all over?

    I think we have all revaluated what is important to us and been able to take a moment to stop and think during this crisis.  I hope that some of what we have had to adapt to stays with us going forward, the biggest of which being the reduction of our carbon footprints.  I think most organisations will be very aware of this going forward and the balance of home and office working will change for many.  Not only will this have a positive environmental impact, but it will also provide a better work/life balance so that we can take care of ourselves a bit better too.

    What is the greatest challenge your company has faced during this crisis?

    Like everyone we have had to get used to the ‘new normal’.  Technically most of our team could work indefinitely from home, thanks to the efforts of our IT team and the technology now available that can facilitate this.  However, since we produce so much creative work it has been tougher to collaborate on projects.  Simple things we took for granted like printing off a sample of artwork to see how it fits together and discussing it as a group has become much more difficult and nothing can substitute a face to face meeting and bouncing ideas off each other in person.

    Are there any brands or professionals in your industry you admire?

    One brand that I think do marketing particularly well just now is KFC. They are disruptive and great at getting your attention across all media platforms, producing fantastic content. KFC are consistently clever with their messaging. One example that really stands out for me was when they suffered supply chain issues and a shortfall of chicken when moving to a new supplier and faced a lot of negative sentiment. They came back with the simple, but genius, ‘FCK’ campaign that was true to their brand – light-hearted, honest and a bit irreverent.

  6. 5 minutes with… Adam from Royal Mail

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    Name: Adam McIntyre

    Job title: Letters Specialist

    Organisation: Royal Mail Group Ltd

    How did you get your current job and how long have you worked there?

    I was a business development manager for Royal Mail and I was recruited as a specialist for our new media business MarketReach in 2012. It was such an exciting concept at the time and our goals were to become the centre of excellence for mail and provide advertisers and agencies with the insight, expertise and knowledge needed to make mail and door drop as effective as possible.

    What do you enjoy most in your role?

    I think I have the best job in the world and my friends think so as well! I work with an amazing group of talented, bright, enthusiastic and supportive people that are more like friends than colleagues and I get involved with clients, agencies and mailing partners that are full of the same type of people. I get to talk to them about something that I love (mail) and how we can squeeze every bit of value out of a media channel that even now still has the power to deliver amazing results.

    What do you think direct marketing / mail / print will look like a year from now?

    I’m taking a real gamble here and putting myself up for ridicule, nothing new for me there so I’ll carry on with the fortune teller bit. I think it’s going to take time for the retail sector to bounce back if it ever can and this will have an impact on printed media and direct marketing, However, I’ve already seen charities move back into mail in a positive way since the collapse in cold donor acquisition due to GDPR a couple of years ago and this is great to see. Also, with the explosion in home shopping and more people staying at home working, we will see more of the e-tail sector switch on to the benefit of brochures, catalogues and printed CRM. So, as we go through the year I can see our industry recover and grow.

    Once lockdown continues to ease, the world as we know it will still be a very different place. What do you think the biggest positive change will be once this is all over?

    I hope that the invisible heroes of this crisis, the essential workers particularly in the NHS are continued to be recognised and rewarded for what they have done and the sacrifices they have made. I hope that the politics of division and intolerance that has been so much on the rise in the last few years is replaced with this new spirit of caring and being interested in the well being of each other just a little bit more.

    What is the most memorable direct mail campaign you can think of?

    There are so many, People’s Postcode Lottery’s first player acquisition mailing was memorable because there was so much at stake and look at them now?

    Royal Mail sent an A4 “Chocolate!” letter to 4,000 of the client marketing and agency leaders in the UK as part of one of our campaigns that is still talked about now, and I had a real disaster once with the launch of the Heinz Amoy soy sauce. They mailed a one piece mailer that had a double digit coupon redemption, absolutely brilliant response, but the return address was the Heinz head office and 20 bags of undeliverable mail was blocking the managing directors parking space a week after the mailing! They wouldn’t believe the mailing was a success.

    But the one I still think was great was the Macallan sock mailing, when they sent a letter with a pair of cheap socks enclosed that said “if you don’t tell them you want the Macallan you’ll get these again!” 58% redemption on a £1 coupon. Wow!

    If you would like to know more about Adam or how we can help you with your print and direct mail, please get in touch.

  7. 5 minutes with… Lisa from DMA

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    Name: Lisa McLauchlan

    Job title: Scotland Community Manager

    Organisation: DMA

    How did you get your current job / how long have you worked in your current role? I have been with the DMA (Data & Marketing Association)  almost 5 years and got the role through a supplier from my previous job. Proof that being friendly, professional and nice and the majority of people will support and help you.

    What do you enjoy most in your role? I really enjoy meeting our DMA members for a coffee, listening and understanding their business and their challenges. When I can provide or signpost help for their business I know that I am doing my job well.

    Helping deliver DMA Talent programmes in Scotland with the London team gives me an immense buzz, by guiding emerging talent into a fun career in our industry.

    Everyday is a school day in my job! I strongly believe in continuous development and the DMA publishes so much industry content which means I am always learning & developing from industry peers. I also have access to the IDM Training (IDM is part of the DMA) and we have just launched our new learning platform which allows people to dip into bite sized modules, which is always winner for my brain. I am currently studying the Award in Behavioural Economics, which is fascinating.

    What sort of mail do you receive at home? Sadly, mostly bills though we get local takeaway flyers, our local magazine CONNECT and my husband’s BUNKERED Subscription. I really need to start subscribing to something as I LOVE getting non-brown envelope mail.

    What do you think direct marketing / mail / print will look like a year from now? I believe that mail and print is such an important channel and it’s been used successfully to deliver important messages to all UK households during the COVID19 outbreak from the UK and Scottish Governments. I can see its use increase dramatically. I think (hope) with JICMAIL’s work, the industry will increase its use. The DMA’s Print Council champions the use of print and has great resources to check out too.

    Once lockdown eases the world as we know will still be a very different place, what do you think the biggest positive change will be once this is all over?  Staff will be given more flexibility in their approach to work and where they work. This might be at home and around the hours that suit them. It will give people a better life/work balance with less travelling (and pollution), more trust in employees and more autonomy. We have the tech!

    What has been your favourite act of kindness you have seen during this crisis? My friend Laura Beverage jointly set up and launched The Kindness Wave,  which offers love and comfort in a box. Boxes are sent to children and young people who are finding this time really difficult. Each parcel is unique to each child and has variety of gifts tailored to the needs of each child or young person, providing them with the LOVE, HOPE, COMFORT & KINDNESS the need at this time.

    You can continue The Kindness Wave by donating or nominating a child or young person!

  8. 5 minutes with… Chris from Dragonfly

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    Name: Chris Kiddy

    Job Title: Business Development Manager

    First job in the industry: My first job was as a Commercial Apprentice with Howitt Ltd. I started off as a bright eyed, excited teenager with big ambitions. I quickly learned the importance of listening to others and a passion for all things print soon became a part of my DNA. I’ve now been in the industry 12 years having done stints in estimating, account management, sales and even reception at one point.

    Area of expertise: Direct Mail and Product Innovation. I love being hands on with every project and joining clients on the journey throughout. For me, it’s not just about learning each day, but sharing that passion to push boundaries with the team and with customers so it’s clear to see how passionate we are about what we do.

    What do you love most about print media? Working with clients from initial concept, identifying opportunities for innovation and improving ROI through data analysis and profiling. This might really sound nerdy, but it makes me tick! Watching all these elements come together paired with innovative paper mechanics, a powerful message and a quality output really is why I do what I do.   

    What inspires you when it comes to direct mail? Endless possibilities! There are so many ways brands can communicate with their prospect or their existing customers using print. Utilising special grades of paper, incredible methods of finishing like foil blocking and soft touch laminates, full digital products to really personalise each message. There isn’t any one thing that inspires me when it comes to print, it’s an incredible tool when used right and I love everything about it!

    What is the best thing about direct mail?  Direct mail really is a standout channel in our marketplace, yet there’s still huge potential for it to play a bigger part in the mix. In a digitally led world, print and direct mail can cut through the noise and evoke some incredible emotions that an email or banner ad simply cannot. It’s personal, can be incredibly versatile and most important of all, it’s actually something physical you can touch. No other channel can deliver that!

    Is there anything about print that you think people would be surprised to know? Print is far more sustainable than people think. So many times I have heard the words “printing is wasteful and is bad for the environment”. This couldn’t be further from the truth and is actually quite the opposite and I’d love to share the actuals with anyone curious to know more…

    Favourite ad/marketing campaign? This is an easy one for me, and probably one most people would put in their top 3. It has to be the John Lewis advert each Christmas. It’s become a staple in the annual calendar and something we as a nation look forward to each year. Whilst the story may change each year, one thing that can be certain is that it will be warm, meaningful and truly gets us in the Christmas spirit

    If you would like to discuss your next direct mail or print campaign with Chris, please contact him here:

  9. 5 minutes with… Jonathan from Two Sides

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    Name:  Jonathan Tame

    Job title: Managing Director

    Organisation: Two Sides

    How did you get your current job / how long have you worked in your current role?

    I joined Two Sides 6 years ago. If you cut me through the middle, I have rings like a tree, with all my working life in the Paper and Print industry, having worked for paper merchants, mills and printers. In sustainability I worked for Defra, as a consultant, advising government and large business on sustainable procurement, and then head of environment for a national paper merchant.

    What do you enjoy most in your role?

    Changing consumers perception of paper and print. Through our Love Paper campaign, adverts in newspapers and magazines, we can connect with over 10million UK consumers to explain the great story and sustainable nature of our products.

    What sort of mail do you receive at home?

    We receive all forms of mail and printed communications. Despite companies encouraging us to switch to digital communications, because it saves them money, research shows those who receive bank statements, financial documents physically on paper have a much better understanding of their affairs.

    My hate is emails from companies, particularly insurance, advanced notice of automated renewals which typically increase your premiums by 30%+. With all the digital noise we get, spam and filters, an email sent is not an email received read or understood. Physical mail is much more likely to be read, understood, especially to older and less advantage people in our society and those who can afford things least.

    What do you think direct marketing / mail / print will look like a year from now?

    We are in completely unchartered waters but there is no doubt this pandemic will have major impacts and outcomes for our industry where much now depends how quick life, and global economies recover.  Tourism, travel and general retail have significant short-term impacts on printed marketing spend, but the reality is all sectors of our economy and all areas of print media, from newspapers, magazines to business and marketing mail, will be impacted.

    Whilst many companies will see this as an opportunity to hasten moving their customers to digital communications, to reduce their costs, to recover as an industry we must be ready and able to tell brands and agencies about the critical role it has to play and physical power of putting your brand into the consumers hands.

    What is the greatest challenge your company has faced during this crisis?

    As a not-for-profit membership organisation, our challenge as the economy tightens is renewals and funding. We can only hope companies in our sector understand the crucial necessity for Two Sides where, more than ever, we must promote the sustainability and attractiveness of paper and printed media.

    Two Sides is a not-for-profit global campaign to promote the sustainability and attractiveness of paper and paper-packaging. We engage companies to stop making misleading statements that digital communications are better for the environment and, through Love Paper, explain to consumers the sustainable nature of our products. We have research, facts, tools and resources for the industry to use. For more information visit;

  10. 5 minutes with… Judith Donovan CBE from SMP

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    Name: Judith Donovan CBE

    Job title: Chair

    Organisation: Strategic Mailing Partnership

    How did you get your current job / how long have you worked in your current role?

    I was working for Postwatch, the consumer watchdog for postal services. When this was closed down by the government, I was asked by Royal Mail to work for them representing the bulk mail. I was able to persuade them that they are missing a trick, and that we need to maintain open dialogue with mail producers. As a result, I was authorised to set up SMP – Strategic Mailing Partnership, a members group which celebrated its 10th birthday in 2019.

    What do you enjoy most in your role?

    It keeps me involved in my old world of DM, I believe that SMP makes a real difference to the relationship between mail producers and Royal Mail.

    Is there anything about you that you think people would be surprised to know?

    My hobby is World War 1.

    Which brands do you think are marketing themselves well during COVID-19 and why?

    Morrisons have been clear in their marketing about their vertically integrated supply chain, buying and producing in the UK and that should be commended. Tesco have also done well, they have captured the importance of families, love and sticking together during this crisis.

    However, the banks have been disgraceful. Their message of ‘we are here for you’ is complete nonsense when there are reports everyday about them not playing their part in helping the public during this crisis.

    If you could have 5 minutes of an open and honest conversation with anyone, who would it be?

    I would say Boris but men like that never listen as they don’t have a scintilla of self-doubt. So, I would choose Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, although I know he won’t listen either. I am outraged at his decision to close all the churches and cathedrals; I would like him to defend that decision to me.

  11. 5 minutes with… Ian from JICMAIL

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    Name: Ian Gibbs            

    Job title: Director of Data Leadership and Learning

    Organisation: JICMAIL

    How did you get your current job / how long have you worked in your current role? I spent nearly ten years at the Guardian heading up their commercial insight team and then departed in late 2016 to begin life as a roving media measurement consultant. The JICMAIL opportunity presented itself through an industry contact and I couldn’t believe my luck in having a brand new industry currency to sink my teeth in to. These opportunities come around once a decade at most.

    What sort of mail do you receive at home? Nappy discount vouchers.

    What is the craziest thing you have bought during lockdown? I don’t know about crazy, but the most unusual purchase has been a Behringer interface from my turntables to my computer so I can livestream DJ sets. I shouldn’t be admitting this really – it seems like every bedroom DJ has come out of the word work during lockdown! A lot of interfaces were sold out everywhere… which just shows how much livestreaming has gone through the roof.

    What do you think direct marketing / mail / print will look like a year from now? Hopefully something richer and more brand focused (while still acknowledging that mail is a powerful response driving medium of course). Mail can make a significant contribution to above the line planning KPIs for brand campaigns, but it’s an effect still not acknowledged enough.

    If you could choose one person you could be locked down who would it be and why? Do you want me to say someone other than my partner and daughter… I can’t answer that!

    Once lockdown eases the world as we know will still be a very different place, what do you think the biggest positive change will be once this is all over? I think consumers will revert to type very quickly sadly. Recessionary concerns aside there’s going to be a lot of pent up demand out there. I mean we all went quite happily from not having exotic holidays to having them when mass market tourism exploded a few decades ago, so I don’t see why that would be any different when the crisis is over. On the positive side I hope we retain our new found sense of community and resourcefulness. We know our neighbours much better than before and people are much more likely to sit outside the front of their houses than they were before – it feel’s positively Mediterranean! But maybe that’s just the good weather….

  12. 5 minutes with… Ellie from Dragonfly

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    Name: Ellie McBeath

    Job Title: Account Executive

    First job in the industry: An intern/placement student here at Dragonfly

    Area of expertise: Data and charities

    What do you love most about print media? Seeing a project start as a concept or idea and taking it right through to the finished product. Whether that be a door drop, DM pack or any other printed item. Each stage of the process is something different which keeps it interesting. It’s even better when we have designed the piece, so we have managed it right from the beginning.  

    What inspires you when it comes to direct mail? We work with a lot of charities and knowing that we are helping themget their message out there is really nice. And knowing that the packs we mail for them are making a difference to people less fortunate than us, especially when the feedback is that the campaign was really successful. It makes working on a campaign that bit more enjoyable when you know that the client is making a difference in the world.

    What is the best thing about direct mail? Sitting down with Rich our Designer and creating a piece from scratch and watching it progress withthe client’s feedback.

    Is there anything about print that you think people would be surprised to know? How intricate and targeted you can make a piece of DM, using the complex data work and programming. Personalisation is key!

    Favourite ad/marketing campaign? The Cadbury’s campaign tackling loneliness amongst older people. They removed all branding and messaging from their chocolate bars. It was a subtle change, but the impact was huge and addresses something that isn’t often discussed in society. The TV advert shows a group of young boys giving their elderly neighbour a chocolate bar and I thought it was really touching and impactful.

  13. 5 minutes with… Gary from Dragonfly

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    Name: Gary Hunter

    Job Title:  Senior Account Manager

    First job in the industry: Press minder (aged 7).  My father owned a print and design company from when I was a very young boy.  I used to spend a lot of time in and around the factory helping out where I could, although I was probably more of a hindrance than a help.  It was an excellent grounding for me though, where I learned all about print and the mechanics into what goes into producing a beautifully printed piece. My actual first fully taxed job was as a trainee estimator within my father’s company.

    Area of expertise: Print and direct mail.  I have been around print, printing presses and paper since childhood.  I only realised how important print was to me when I took a couple of years out to work in the paper trade.  When you are fully immersed in something you do not realise how much you are learning and how much you love it, until it’s not there.  I love nothing more than picking up a printed item, flicking the corner of it to estimate the paper weight and then walking someone through the processes that went into producing it, probably why I don’t get invited to many dinner parties!

    What do you love most about print media? I love how it has stood the test of time and evolved to still be relevant in today’s technologically advanced world.  For decades now there has been an element of doom-mongering around print and it’s predicted demise however nothing could be further from the truth.  I believe that everything turns in cycles and there is definitely a strong resurgence in love for print and direct mail as people find more and more interesting and relevant print and DM landing on their doorsteps.

    What inspires you when it comes to direct mail?  I am inspired by the reaction that a well thought out, well produced and well targeted piece of direct mail can create.  Be that an increase in sales for a business or just a smile to a face with a clever, funny or inventive piece of DM.  

    What is the best thing about direct mail?  I love seeing the effect that the end result has on the client and how happy they become when they are holding a finished pack in their hands.  You can never underestimate the power of print and the joy it can bring to someone.  The hard work and effort from everybody involved in producing a pack gets brought to life in something tangible and you just can’t buy that.

    Is there anything about print that you think people would be surprised to know?  The issue of C02 and reducing our carbon footprint is a very real issue and a very hot topic.  There are lots of myths going around which paints print production and paper usage in a bad light.  A great website that I often find myself browsing is which is a leading light in the fight against greenwashing. With print supporting accreditation programmes like the Forest Stewardship Council and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification along with World Land Trust carbon balancing as an industry we are leading the way in Carbon Capture. A real standout figure dispelling the myth around deforestation is that European forests grow by over 1,500 football pitches EVERY DAY.  Also more than 60% of forests in the EU and the UK are certified, and most of them are under the FSC, PEFC or both.

    Favourite ad/marketing campaign? My favourite marketing campaign has to be Cadbury’s “Donate Your Words” and their campaign supporting Age UK.  Cadbury removed the logo from it’s Dairy Milk bars and donated 30p from each bar sold to Age UK. It also sought to encourage the public to donate their own words, by reaching out to older people in their community for a friendly chat to brighten their day.  The campaign had a huge impact with hundreds of thousands of people donating their words and helped make a difference to the lives of many older people.

  14. 5 minutes with… Sally from Dragonfly

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    Name: Sally Maciver

    Job Title: Account Executive

    First job in the industry: This position at Dragonfly, account executive, is my first job in the industry. I started here in August 2017. After studying Marketing Management at University, I then worked in a property agent for 2 and a half years before coming to Dragonfly. I’m so happy to be working in marketing, and every day is something new.

    Area of expertise: Cost savings! It’s important to ensure that all our clients are getting the most cost-effective and efficient campaigns and print solutions, so it’s always an important factor when speaking to our suppliers that we’re offering the best solutions.

    What do you love most about print media? The print journey is super exciting; this could be anything from helping design the first artwork version for a client, looking into a new concept completely, a full rebrand to finding the best print materials with various samples but all of these stages are important in the finished product. It’s lots of fun seeing this all come together and to be involved in this process.

    What’s the most satisfying part of your job? We’re lucky enough to have a variety of excellent suppliers who offer extremely luxurious and high-quality stocks. This is something I’ve gained experience with through working with Laings and Hamilton & Inches over the years. I love working with the client to ensure our end result reflects their brand’s aim, and really enjoy seeing the finished product.

    What inspires you when it comes to direct mail? I think the fact that you can be so creative with what you’re printing, every single mail piece can be as different as you wish. It keeps things really exciting for us at Dragonfly too, and no idea is too silly or outrageous. Everything has to start from something.

    What is the best thing about direct mail? Direct mail is such a fast-paced environment, with such amazing advancements in technology – absolutely nothing is out of the question.

    Is there anything about print that you think people would be surprised to know? You can add a personalised stamp (indicia) to your mail packs. It’s a fun addition to a mail piece, and allows your packs to stand out from competitors. 

    Favourite ad/marketing campaign? John Lewis adverts are always amazing (especially Christmas adverts) but my favourite has to be the Christmas advert 2015, Man on the Moon. Christmas is always such a special time of year, but this advert showed us that not everyone is as lucky to have lots of family around them, and it can be quite a lonely time for some. It’s really stuck with me (I struggle watching it without a tissue).

  15. 5 minutes with… Clare from Dragonfly

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    Name: Clare Manson

    Job Title: Finance Director

    First job in the industry: My first experience in finance was my one week’s work experience at school which was with Inland Revenue, which is now the HMRC. My first actual job was in the finance office of John Menzies PLC, which was big sort of newsagent and stationary supplier – like HMV but for stationary! Then, my first job in the direct mail industry was here with Dragonfly.

    Area of expertise: As the only person in finance in this office, I could say that it’s finance and leave it at that because I’m the only one in the office who does finance at all! But, within finance, my specialty and interest really lie in the cash management side of things. I find it really exciting to anticipate what money is coming in and what money is going out.

    What do you love most about print media? I’ll admit it, I didn’t come into my interview with Dragonfly already very passionate about print, I didn’t know much about it to begin with! But when I did interview, I really liked the people here. I love that they can get so passionate about print and pick up on the tiniest design details. They always put things into terms that I can understand and have really opened the world of print marketing to me. Now that I work here, I can appreciate why people love it so much!

    What is the best thing being an accountant? Excel. Joking! I like the fact that there’s a finish product to my work and I can see the results. It’s a lot of work to become an accountant and I love that I’m now using exactly what I spent the last however-many-years building up. It’s really satisfying to be in the position that you’ve worked for years to be in!

    Is there anything about finance that you think people would be surprised to know? Finance is not just boring numbers! There’s more to it than just excel! Finance is the key to new opportunities and growth. Though I do love the numbers, too.

    Is there anything about print and direct mail that surprised you? I had no appreciation for the different types of postage – it’s not just sticking a stamp on an envelope! It’s so much more complicated. When I started, I knew I didn’t know much about print, but I thought I had a solid understanding of postage, as we all do! Postage really surprised me, there’s a lot more to it than we think.

    Favourite ad/marketing campaign? I know it’s a bit of a cop-out, but the John Lewis Christmas campaign really gets me. I always want to see what they’re doing year after year. Christmas campaigns in general are fun! They generate a lot of conversation, comparing this year’s against last year’s, or one against the next and seeing what really works and what doesn’t. (Aldi’s Christmas carrot is a no-go for me).  

  16. 5 minutes with… Isla from Dragonfly

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    Name:  Isla Munro

    Job Title: Managing Director

    First job in the industry: I had a great first job as Marketing Officer at Edinburgh Napier University.  My role was to help recruit new students to the University and I had a lot of fun doing so through the creation of the University prospectus, and by organising open day events and arranging school visits and talks.  

    Area of expertise: I have a solid marketing background which I have gained from working in professional services, property and marketing agencies. I love working on marketing strategy, especially as part of the customer journey and looking at creative ways to acquire and retain customers.

    What do you love most about print media? The way you can make something feel luxurious and special. Print gives a real personal touch, and the advancements in technology and production mean we can do much smaller but more targeted runs which get great results!

    What inspires you when it comes to direct mail? I love the challenge of budgets and making sure the spend goes as far as possible. Postage is always the most expensive part of a mail pack, but with our exclusive Royal Mail account we can help our clients save on that element. I enjoy working with the Dragonfly team on creative solutions and then weighing up print against digital spend. I love it when you compare a PPC campaign to a DM campaign… what gets you more for 50p? One click online which lasts seconds, or one personalised mail pack delivered into the letterbox of a prospect which stays in the home for, on average, 17 days.

    What is the best thing about direct mail? There is something for everyone! No matter the size of your database or budget there is an effective DM campaign waiting to happen – it just takes some creative thinking and planning.

    Is there anything about print that you think people would be surprised to know? There is a perception that print kills trees and is bad for the environment. Which is utter nonsense! We recently became members of Two Sides which is doing an amazing job to campaign against Green Washing. Did you know, only 8% of a tree is used for pulp, and European Forests have been growing by over 1,500 football pitches every day?

    Favourite ad/marketing campaign? I love it when brands are reactive to current affairs or trends and can get online quickly. Royal Mail recently did it with the Woman’s Football and Nivea did it with the FaceApp

  17. 5 minutes with… Richard from Dragonfly

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    Name: Richard Wynne Cole

    Job Title: Graphic Designer

    First job in the industry: Junior Designer at Ogilvy Mather many years ago!

    Area of expertise: Logo creation, brand management and brochure layout

    What kind of clients excite you the most? Artisan companies that are hands on, creative and a little risqué.  

    If you could give one piece of design/print advice what would it be? Always give the client something they could never do on their own – otherwise what value are you adding?

    What inspires you when it comes to direct mail? The data and science behind direct marketing is what gets me excited about direct mail.

    What future trends do you see for advertising mail? With the advances in variable data and personalisation advertising mail will get more interesting and relevant for the recipient as well as a lot more focused for the client.

    What is the most important thing you have learned since working in the marketing/creative industries? Managing oneself in order to stay fresh, creative and interested.

    Favourite marketing campaign? I always loved the Absolut Vodka – The Absolut Bottle campaign, and who can forget the “Whassup” campaign by Budweiser?

    What gets you excited about DM? I love the personalisation and profiling aspect of DM and the future innovation such as personal video/audio – I think the proliferation of bot responses, fraudulent responses and digital activity appearing in undesirable online media will all allow for more innovation in classic print DM.

    Dream client? I always had a thing for Converse shoes…. So working on their brand would be something.

  18. 5 minutes with… Cara from Dragonfly

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    Name: Cara Lawson

    Job title: Account Director

    First job in the industry: My first job in print and DM was with Dragonfly – back in 2013!  The agency has been great at investing their time and effort in ensuring my knowledge is always improving.

    Area of expertise: Client management – I love working with all different kinds of people and keeping my clients happy is my number one priority.

    What do you love most about print media? I enjoy working with a client at the very beginning of a campaign and seeing it through right to the end – it’s exciting making an idea come to life! As much as it can put the pressure on, I also enjoy turning a failing job around and delivering it on time and within budget. That’s very satisfying.

    What inspires you when it comes to direct mail? Although print has been around for a long time, I enjoy how quickly things still evolve.  Not only in terms of what the machinery can now do, but the analysis and insight we now have tells us how important DM is within a wider strategy.

    What is the best thing about direct mail? It’s tangible. We keep a piece of DM significantly longer than any other media and receiving something relevant and personalised to you can definitely make a customer feel valued.

    Is there anything about print that you think people would be surprised to know? That your ROI can be increased by a huge 12% with mail in the mix! Also, that we only use FSC paper suppliers who source all of our paper responsibly – this even includes replanting trees for paper we use!

    Favourite ad/marketing campaign? I am a sucker for the John Lewis Christmas adverts (like the rest of the UK) but I love the old school Jaffa Cake advert! ‘full moon… half moon… total eclipse!’ I can’t eat a Jaffa Cake without saying those words. There is no doubt sales will have rocketed after that campaign.

    Worst DM habits witnessed? A lack of a clear call to action. This is a must and should always be included.

    What gets you excited about DM? How relevant we can now make it at much more affordable prices.  If the data is there, then speaking to a customer at an individual level is possible.

    Dream client? I love working with all of the clients we have but I think a client in sport would be amazing as I’m so passionate about it.

  19. 5 minutes with… Moyra from Dragonfly

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    In between keeping the wheels of international business development turning, and educating and inspiring about what good direct mail can do for a brand and its growth, we grabbed a moment with Moyra to find out about her and her passion for DM.

    Name: Moyra Lambert

    Job Title: Business Development Director – South Africa

    First job in the industry: My first job was as a Marketing Assistant with Unilever’s Lipton Tea, I was employed as part of Unilever’s Graduate Programme in 1983! It was a brilliant role – I was collecting names from customer competition and getting customers to join the company’s cookery club.

    Area of expertise: My ability to build and nurture relationships along with understanding a company’s strategic goals and getting the best ROI out of marketing budgets makes me a good confidant and sounding board for clients to discuss strategy, find solutions and motivate proposals.

    What inspires you when it comes to direct mail? When it is used effectively as part of a media/channel campaign and personalised in a way that the recipient can relate to what they have received.

    If you could give one piece of print/postage advice what would it be? Keep testing new ideas/concepts against a ‘control’ and be sure you are able to capture the results accurately.

    What is the most important thing you have learned since working in the marketing/creative industries? Keep aware of all the offerings around you but don’t ever forget the basics and keep testing to improve!

    What is the best thing about direct mail? The recipient gets to physically interact with it in the privacy of their home, on a bus, train or wherever else they choose to interact with it. They can also combine it with an online experience if that is their choice.

    Is there anything about print that you think people would be surprised to know? Paper production is actually good for the environment. Over its life cycle, paper provides environmental, social and economic benefits while protecting and maintaining public health, welfare and the environment. This means that paper is one of only a few truly sustainable products in the world.

    Do you see any global trends when it comes to mail? The general trend of mailing in 1st world countries is declining but with it comes more refined data analysis about the mailing, more personalisation and targeted campaigns with higher response rates.

    There are parts of Africa and other third world countries where consumers don’t have access to a physical ‘mail box’ where they can receive a personalized mail piece. Other forms/combinations of direct mail need to be used here, e.g. digital and ‘knock and drop’ type mail. The Post Office isn’t reliable in all parts of the world so creative ways need to be sought to address this.

    Favourite marketing campaign? Nando’s viral YouTube campaigns in South Africa, Distell ‘Eish’ Ad. Both humorous, very local, relevant, memorable and topical which makes them stand out in the clutter in South Africa. One is a low budget campaign and the other high budget but both get excellent results.

    What gets you excited about DM? Online companies like Amazon use direct mail to promote some of their signature products. Data analysis constantly gets better so customers can be better profiled and defined which results in better response rates and ROI.

    What kind of clients excite you the most? Ones who are passionate about what they do and are prepared to surround themselves with a team who continue to make things better.

  20. 5 minutes with… Vicky from Dragonfly

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    Vicky co-founded The Dragonfly Agency in 2011 and over the past eight years has developed the business into one of the UK’s leading direct mail agencies. With a strong international business acumen, she’s successfully delivered campaigns for clients throughout the UK and overseas.

    Name: Vicky Grant

    Job Title: CEO

    First job in the industry: Junior Account Executive in 2002!

    Area of expertise: Direct Mail, UK and International Postage

    What kind of clients excite you the most? Omni channel testing and international direct marketing

    If you could give one piece of print/postage advice what would it be? Be relevant/ innovative and understand your target market

    What makes Dragonfly different? Our innovation, determination, drive and solid relationships

    Why should people outsource DM? To take the headache away! We help manage the entire journey of a client’s campaign allowing them to focus purely on results and other channels of their marketing

    What inspires you when it comes to direct mail? How relevant you can make the message and the offer. Being highly targeted allows clients to speak to their customers with messages they want to hear. Printed marketing has made a huge comeback and people actually like to receive tactile reading material, magazines, interactive one-piece mailers and interesting mail packs – especially compared to emails.

    What future trends do you see for advertising mail? That it can only get better; improved profiling / targeting and working hand and glove with digital.

    What is the most important thing you have learned since working in the marketing/creative industries? To always believe in what you wish to achieve, keep in touch with everyone you meet you never know when your paths will cross again – and to take the rough with the smooth.

    Is there anything about Dragonfly that you think people would be surprised to know? We have our own Dragonfly Mail postal account and post all our International mail in Dragonfly branded mail sacks!

    Favourite ad/marketing campaign? Sainsbury’s Christmas advert 2018 – everyone has to love the little boy dressed as a plug and throwing himself at the socket!

    What gets you excited about DM? Getting more innovative with formats and route to market i.e. Direct mail through UK and International postage, door drop, partially addressed, inserts into publications and more

    Dream client? Someone who likes to test new ideas is always exciting as we love nothing more than to get creative and push boundaries.