More than 500 million worth of trans-promotional advertising space on consumers' bills and statements is still going unused in the UK, according to the latest research from UK-based direct marketing firm dsiCMM.
The advertising value of the trans-promotional marketing opportunity is estimated by dsiCMM to be equivalent to 22% of the UK's annual direct mail spending.
Overall, the UK's consumer-focused marketers buy some 19 billion worth of advertising space, direct marketing, sponsored web links and so on each year.
The company researched the value of the current trans-promo advertising opportunity in eight key arenas: bank statements, credit card statements, investment portfolio statements, mortgage statements, mobile phone bills, landline phone bills, power utility bills, water utility bills, and loyalty card statements. The total unexploited advertising media value was found to be worth 502,807,600 each year.
Trans-promo goes mainstream
The recent labelling of the technique as "trans-promotional advertising" has given rise to the familiar nickname "trans-promo", and suggests that the technique has moved from being experimental into being a mainstream strategy with a growing marketplace of technology and service providers to support it.
Moreover, recent research from mailing providers such as Pitney Bowes has also confirmed that many companies are already starting to increase their use of trans-promotional marketing techniques.
According to Yolanda Noble, CEO for dsiCMM, "The question of whether or how to use statements and bills as an advertising medium has been debated over the past few years, especially among banks and wealth managers that are anxious to find every available means of up-selling or cross-selling to their high net worth customers. But only recently has the technique become more widely recognised."
Advertising and revenue streams
The research identified a largely unexploited opportunity for companies to cross-sell additional products to existing customers, or to charge appropriate affinity partners for the space. The technological support has already arrived in the marketplace too, the company says, with software being readily available to place individualised messages on statements and bills, while variable digital colour printing allows adverts to be eye-catching and compelling.
As Noble points out, some early pioneers are already taking advantage of the medium and are benefiting from response rates "not far short of those experienced by the average direct mail campaign". Noble predicts that the key opportunity lies in banking and credit cards, simply because of the sheer volume of statements generated by the sector.