Canada Post offers support services for direct marketers

with the latest direct marketing figures showing further growth for the industry, Canada Post has weighed in with some missionary work.Brian Broadway is director of the Crown corporation's recently-formed Connexions Direct Marketing Response Centres. Broadway says the mandate of Connexions is...

with the latest direct marketing figures showing further growth for the industry, Canada Post has weighed in with some missionary work.

Brian Broadway is director of the Crown corporation’s recently-formed Connexions Direct Marketing Response Centres. Broadway says the mandate of Connexions is to encourage ‘effective, socially responsible direct marketing’ in Canada.

Tools and resources

He says they will do so by providing, free of charge, the tools and resources for direct marketers looking for ways to improve their methods.

And, Broadway admits, in an interview from the Toronto centre, ‘the long-term payout is more customers’ for Canada Post.

The Canadian Direct Marketing Association has just released figures that show direct marketing grew 7% in 1992 to $8.48 billion from $7.8 billion in 1991.

Nancy Lee Jobin, general manager of Blitz in Toronto, a direct marketing and sales promotion agency, says the Connexions centres are an interesting idea.

Jobin says they should aid ad agencies and small businesses in particular, adding Connexions seminars which train agency staff in the basics of direct marketing would be a great help.

New to DM

She says advertisers which hitherto have relied on traditional approaches to selling and which are now trying direct marketing will find the centres useful.

Broadway says the first Connexions centre – a pilot project – opened in Winnipeg in February and by the end of October had attracted more than 1,200 users.

He says although the downtown Toronto centre does not officially open until late January, it has already attracted 100 or so users.

Broadway notes the staff at Connexions in Toronto has more than 40 years’ combined direct mail experience.

As well as the Winnipeg centre, and the one in Toronto, Broadway says Canada Post plans to open Connexions offices in Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary, Vancouver and London, Ont., although timing has not yet been decided.

Luci Furtado, president of the Direct Marketing Association of Toronto, has heard good news about the centres through the direct marketing grapevine.

Feedback

Furtado, who worked with Canadian Direct Marketing Association President John Gustavson on the centres, says at first there was ‘a bit of suspicion’ in the industry over what Connexions was up to, but that has since subsided.