THE NEW LANDSCAPE OF BRANDS

A quick post to share a presentation that I put together for the UK Marketing team for Carlsberg. An old friend of mine (Ian Hannaford @ihannaford) is now a Marketing Manager at Carlsberg and he kindly extended an invitation to talk through some thoughts on brands and marketing with the team.

It was great to meet the team and I really enjoyed the session. Some really interesting ideas surfaced which provoked lots of discussion. I learnt alot about Carlsberg including the fact that it is run as a trust contributing to Danish projects and the top board is scientists and artists. How differentiated is that?

I was impressed that the team was open to hearing ideas and thoughts from other marketers and categories – I wish all teams were as open. Thanks also go to the Director of Brands Paul Davies for allowing me a slot at his meeting.

Do you want me come to your team meeting and provoke some thinking and discussion? Email me – I might just take you up on the offer!

As ever – if you have any thoughts, disagreements, energy and passion to share about brands and marketing then please comment below or drop me an email.

Update on Battle of the Big Thinking (for those that have been following my frustrations on Twitter) – I finally have a stable draft of the presentation. If you are attending see you there and if you aren’t you will be able to take part because I’m going to extend an invitation for you to join the debate!

Hope you are having a great day!

Justin

Email me: justin@basini.com
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BANKING AND THE COMMON GOOD

I’ve worked in banks for the past 7 years of my career. I met some really good people, made some friends, and learnt alot along the way. I’ve got some insight into what makes banks and bankers tick and this has recently been on my mind given a few conversations I’ve had with people “on the inside”.
I’d like to spend this blog proposing a new model of value creation for banking and bankers based on the concept of the “Common Good”. With the “common good”, being defined as a positive effect on a wide constituency of stakeholders, and the system we call “society” as a whole.

As we all know we (the people) own much of Northern Rock, RBS and Lloyds and have had to support with financial investments in market structures, liquidity and insurance virtually all other financial services companies. Now I can tell you, and it should come as no surprise, that all the banks that have received state support are desperate to get the government, i.e. our representatives, out of their affairs. This is the major focus of RBS and Lloyds and what will allow this to happen is moving back into profit fast, stablising balance sheets and stopping all unprofitable activity. This agenda is consuming their management teams. These activities are being supported by governments that, quite rightly, don’t want to run or be involved with commercial enterprises and want to show a return for the investment of our money as soon as possible.

The leaders of these organisations are talented and well incentivised and will succeed. They will get back to being independent commercial enterprises that play the markets, deliver profits, (often super-normal) and pay big bonuses to their staff, sooner than we think. They will pay dividends and look to make stock market returns by placating the analysts thirst for short term results. And these potential outcomes, a return to the “status quo” with a little more risk management and some structural reform, would be a far better state than we are now in.
But shouldn’t we play for more? Shouldn’t we, since its our money on the line, demand greater change? One scenario would be we demand an approach where there is a more balanced set of objectives for our banks, objectives which build “the common good”, as well as profit and return. This in my mind is the big opportunity out of the crisis.
We have lived through an almost unimaginable collapse in our global banking system. But it seems to me that we are regressing back to the norm – going back to the status quo. Given each taxpayer has had to stump up somewhere from £2,500 to £15,000 to bail out the banks through this crisis (depending on what source you read!) – what do we want to do with this investment? Whether we like it or not these institutions were too big too fail. And this, I think, is not just the result of their commercial size and success, it says more about the role, and potential role, they play in our society. Banks, for good or ill, are a big part of making our society, the system in which we live, work.
State intervention in the banking system was right and no doubt protected us from a catastrophic economic situation. We, the taxpayer and our government, are now involved in these enterprises and this gives us the right to demand a change. Do we want to return to the type of banking and market dominance that led to the collapse? This is the likely scenario unless we start to engage in intelligent, informed dialogue about what new form of contribution we want from these institutions.

My opinion is that it isn’t enough for banks just to pay off government aid, buy us off (hopefully with a return), and go back to what they were doing before with even more less-than-effective regulation. All stakeholders (and that includes us) need to get involved to understand how banks can play for a different set of aims which include contributing to the common good.

A bank operating for the common good could:
  • make a profit, but not seek to drive super-profit
  • seek to grow their value, and that of their shares, by long term investments in businesses and people, not short term quarter by quarter spinning and lurching
  • stay away from the complex, synthetic, products which make a lot of money but are often so far removed from any underlying creation of a value to society
  • realise that they are a part of the fabric of our nations, not just a commercial entity, and that with this comes responsibility to serve and work with a wide range of consumers
  • don’t hide behind or pander to the “consumer” – for example if someone doesn’t understand credit don’t give it to them
  • seek to get seriously involved in supporting community cohesion and the broader issues in society – millions are financially excluded, maybe there isn’t much money to be made, but working with these consumers responsibly would provide a social good
  • back businesses and become a facilitator of solutions to keep businesses going rather than too often making arbitrary decisions, of the “computer says no” type that mean good but cashflow challenged businesses goes under
  • see the opportunity for their people and places to become centres of the community – why wouldn’t the local bank manager go to local schools and talk about money and how it should be managed or invite local people into the bank to discuss community funding of projects. (Interesting to see what the Campaign for Community Banking is lobbying for – shared branches for example, recently rejected by HSBC)
  • create an environment where staff could really be proud of what they do, and one where debate and challenge, not to the specific issue or product, but on a broader more fundamental level is encouraged and actioned

And in return we would need to cut the banks a break. We will need to understand that the fixing of the system is hard, it will have ups and downs, successes and failures. There will continue to be excesses as the old status quo evolves to something different. The market will need to allow management teams to deliver lower absolute profitability, without the ruthless short term focus; and develop new measures for contribution of the business both financial and societal. The media will need to focus less on the reaction to short term issues and seek to represent and support the longer term goals of delivering a “common good” through intelligent and informed debate.

And there are some potential new practises emerging:

Barclaycard is launching a new online account management system which allows spend analysis by category in order to give their customers better information.

Tesco Personal Finance are talking (but only talking at the moment) about building a bank rewarding loyalty.

There is talk of a “Post Bank” being launched using the infrastructure of the Northern Rock (see this article). And other local community banks are also being discussed.

I am sure many, even some old colleagues, will read this and think it is all pie in the sky thinking. But if we allow the system to return to the old status quo, albeit with some structural or regulatory modifications, then I think we will have squandered an opportunity of a lifetime to forge something new and better for the banks, the bankers, our society and for us as consumers.

What do you think? Please leave a comment, thought, disagreement or agreement below or drop me an email at: justin@basini.com

As always please feel free to share, Retweet, Digg or bookmark! I really appreciate it.

Thanks for reading (and thinking),

Justin

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WHY CAN’T I FIX MY TOASTER?

Let me tell you about my toaster. It is a stainless steel four slice Kenwoood model.

Its about 18 months old and, as I recall, cost about £45. As you can see it is quite chunky. The two toasting slots on the right stopped working about 6 months ago just as the guarantee ran out. My kids are currently going through a phase of wanting toast and not being able to produce 4 slices of toast, especially when I bought a four slice toaster, is somewhat frustrating and means I spend more time at the toaster than with my kids having breakfast.

Those of you who know me, can attest to the fact that I am reasonably handy around the house. I’d say I am good at DIY and, for example, put a kitchen into my last house. I’ve done rudimentary electrics and understand the core principles and concepts.

Combine this with our desire as a family to live more sustainably and the prospect of committing this hunk of steel and plastic to landfill wasn’t something I wanted to do. So I thought to myself last weekend – I’ll have a look at fixing the toaster. Normally when I try a new project I turn to the internet and browse some groups for advice. Well after about 20 mins of browsing it became clear that the general advice was don’t bother, buy a new one, its not worth the time, and its difficult to fix them because they are designed to be disposable!

And low and behold another 30 mins looking at the toaster revealed it would indeed be hard to get into it. And once inside would require “bodging” of spare parts with a consequent risk of further problems or fire. A repair would cost anywhere from £25 to £50 and isn’t guaranteed for more than three months.

This blog isn’t an eleborate appeal for a toaster expert to send me advice on the fixing of small electrical appliances. But rather it raised a series of questions for me.

Firstly, if toasters are designed to be disposable and have a relatively short shelf life, say 2 years, then that is a load of plastic, electrics and metal going to landfill every year. Magnify that with all the other types of small electrical appliances that it isn’t economic to fix then the volume of stuff going to landfill gets terrifying quickly. Secondly, why does my generation default “to throw it away and buy a new one”. My parents house is full of stuff that has been repaired and refurbished over the years.

Given the massive changes that we are seeing in our economy and the way that large swathes of the population (including my family) have changed their views about the environment and sustainable living I think the sustainability of purchases and how long they last could become new dimensions on which we can compete, differentiate and tap into new needs. Products and information sources which help consumers to refurbish or repurpose might be big in the future. For example, we fired up the barbeque (an old gas model) today for the first time this year and frankly the old girl is looking a bit rough. My gut reaction is to hit the net to see where my next barbeque is going to be purchased from. But actually I thought – could I give it a lick of some sort of paint and a good clean, change some parts and get a few more years use out of it rather than scrapping what is a lot of metal.

Businesses are benefiting from these changing attitudes. Swapping unwanted goods or second hand items through ebay is now mainstream. I’ve noticed Miele has recently been pushing 10 year guarantees on white goods, and Dualit, coming from a heritage as a supplier to commercial catering, provide spares and their products can be repaired. But a Dualit toaster costs £100+ – do you need to spend a lot to get something that can last? Surely with all the progress in manufacturing and product quality cheaper items can be manufactured to be repairable.

David Armano, in his marketing blog, has suggested that marketing is moving into a “post-consumer era” where more socially responsible decision making will be important driven by word of mouth. Its worth reading and thinking about.

I’d love to fix my toaster and move away from just “consuming” and “throwing away” to repairing, reusing and repurposing. Maybe I’m not alone.

Hope everyone had a great Easter. Go on leave a comment!

Justin
http://www.basini.com/

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How far will the internet change our world?

Whilst thinking about marketing and trends in search I came across a couple of videos that really interested me and made me stop.

The question is often asked how fast does the world change and especially for some of the more “out there” prognostications (such as virtual experiences and worlds, the rise of robots, “Minority report” style advertising etc) – when will these things become reality? I often think that it is easy Tomorrow’s World style to shoot fast and loose on future predictions i.e. a 1970s TW promising we would all be driving around in flying cars by 2000.

I found a video on YouTube which is really worth watching. It outlines a view of the future that is very challenging and thought provoking. I have often thought that virtual worlds will become at least as powerful especially for the young as real world experiences and potentially much safer at least from a physical perspective, if not emotional/mental.

The imagining of how the consolidation of power in Google and Amazon is challenging. My only critiscism of this video is its somewhat US centricity (despite the strange “world” accent of the narrator). The rise of Indian and Chinese content providers and networks will undoubtedly move our worldview from an anglo-saxon one over the next 20 years. And that is probably no bad thing.

Anyway have a watch:

Now if you have spent 5 mins watching this video then you have reached the end 1 minute where the more “out there” claims are made. Are these claims TW style over the top or realistic. Well watch the following video:

And reflect that this was 16 years ago in 1993. All the change of email, internet, mobile, facebook, amazon, google, twitter, cloud computing etc all in an incredibly short time period.

Now think about the first video and 16 years away from now is 2025 – maybe the claims aren’t such fantasy? How does that you make you feel?

Makes me feel a mix of hopeful, excited and terrified!

Comments welcome as always!

Justin
www.basini.com

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TRUTH IN ADVERTISING

This is a fabulous video which is worth kicking back and watching for 10 minutes or so (not when you should be working!).

Of course its not true. This is not how the process works – is it? Hopefully not in my team at least! Others may correct me!

Comments welcome as always!

Justin

www.basini.com
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justinbasini.blogspot.com

Marketing Direct’s Green Marketing Conference presentation – Moving to a multi-channel, integrated marketing model

This was an important presentation to Marketing Direct's Green Marketing Conference sharing the progress that Capital One had made on creating a more sustainable, more effective, integrated and multi-channel marketing model.

Marketing Direct's Green Marketing Conference 2008 presentation on sustainable marketing model at Capital One

Defining the future of direct marketing in the UK

 

Speech at the “Profiting from Green Policies Conference”  – 9th November 2007 – London, UK

Speech starts:

I'd like to start with a test.
 
OPEN WITH GORILLA VIDEO ON DVD.
 
Purpose:
 
The effect that some of us have just experienced is a psychological phenomenon called “Inattentional blindness” and it is caused by over focusing on objects and therefore missing a major element of the picture. This is a neat introduction to the challenges facing our industry: there is a gorilla passing through our game and we need to see it.
 
I believe we are at a defining moment in the future of the direct marketing industry, our industry. We are a vibrant part of the marketing landscape of the UK. We have a lot of which to be justifiably proud but after 10 years of growth, we need to consider now how we secure and define our destiny in the next 10 years. I believe we have an opportunity in the next 12 months to do this for ourselves.
 
This is a leadership moment for me, for you, for our businesses and organisations. We need to re-orient ourselves away from threat, and fear, towards innovation and opportunity.
 
Not a focus on the status quo, but on the concept of sustainability. Compelling Need:
 
SLIDE: Consumers think we should be concerned about protecting the environment

 

As an industry we have made some progress on environmental issues but we need to do better. I believe we can’t “hold back the tide”. It is clear that the public understanding of environmental issues and associated threats has “tipped”. This is creating a ripple effect across all industries and indeed our whole society. But as we all know these issues are far from easy, both in definition and in solution. Consumers want us to take these issues seriously.
 
SLIDE: Junk mail
 
However, chopping down trees, printing marketing materials, shoving them through letter boxes, often when they are unwanted is an easy equation for consumers to understand and they react negatively. We can argue about the whys and wherefores, our use of sustainable paper sources, suppression lists and the mail preference service but ultimately the consumer is a whole lot less interested in our industry than we are. They reduce it down to its most basic.
 
These consumer concerns are having a direct effect. They force government to look at the issues with fresh eyes and look for solutions. Taking action against “junk mail” is a vote winner. If we have been slow to react to these pressures, now is the time for us to recognise this and unleash the awesome power of our creativity to solve these problems.
 
Otherwise, I believe, that we will be legislated against and continue to face growing consumer resentment of what we do. And that’s despite the fact that people will still buy things through direct marketing.
 
But more than the threat of legislation, the compelling need, is a values based issue – unless we secure the sustainability of our industry we will not be doing the right thing. The right thing for the environment, for our organisations, for our businesses, for our employees and for ourselves.

 

This is a leadership moment for all of us. Relevant gratefulness:
 
SLIDE:Uk Direct marketing is large and vibrant
 
Direct marketing is vibrant and sizeable in the UK. It’s a growing industry with some of the most creative and innovative minds understanding how to connect with consumers in new and exciting ways. The industry is estimated to be worth around £8bn to the UK economy, employing 182,000 people, generating £125bn of sales.
 
Consumers still use direct marketing. When a targeted offer comes through it is useful and they respond. As we all know response to direct marketing has been falling but certainly has not disappeared.
 
I am constantly amazed by the wonderful ideas in our industry. The deep understanding of how consumers respond and the ability to deliver breakthrough ideas are skills which many other areas of marketing, indeed other industries, could learn a lot from.
 
If we need to demonstrate leadership we can see many examples.
 
I thank Noelle McElhatton and Marketing Direct for seeing the opportunity to drive discussion and thought leadership through this conference and the materials that they are going to produce from it. I believe it is a significant contribution just to bring us all together.
 
I’d like to credit The Direct Marketing Association and its current Chair Rosemary Smith, for their work leading our industry and opening up dialogue with government.
 
Also I would like to express my personal gratitude to Keith Jones from Axciom for his leadership, vision and ideas, much of which I have used in forming my presentation here today (with his permission!).

 

And I’d like to thank all of you for giving your time to engage and take the debate onto the next level – the drive to action. Many of you will have made changes to the way that you market – reducing volumes, improving targeting, leveraging online channels, looking at different types of paper and inks – all to become more sustainable.
 
Finally, I must credit the leadership that my team at Capital One have shown, which has been a humbling and an awesome thing to see. They are driving true changes in line with our values as a business and team.
 
Value: I think there are three values upon which I believe the leadership that we need to show is founded and it is important to focus on these before we move to the action that I believe we as an industry need to take and how we Capital One are responding.
 
SLIDE:Values
 
1. The first value is one of responsibility.
2. The second value is one of accountability.
3. The third value is one of excellence.
 
Responsibility – it is important for us all to recognise and understand the impact that our actions are having in the round including, but not limited to, the environment.
 
I also believe that all of us in this room have responsibility for the decisions that our business and organisations make. There can be no more room for looking left and right, up or down, when the questions are asked.
 
Accountability. This is the area where I believe we, as an industry, have been weakest. We need to be clear on who is doing what and hold ourselves to account. When we have committed to targets we have not been clear on accountabilities, consequently we have put the achievement of these targets at risk.

 

Finally, we need to maintain our high levels of excellence in order to ensure that direct marketing continues to be a profitable marketing channel.
 
Initial piece of evidence: SLIDE:Landfill
 
The attitudes of all us, away from our jobs, are driving the changes and pressures that we are seeing. We have never been more aware of the impact of our actions on the world around us.
 
Even five years ago not many of us worried about recycling, how much waste was going to landfill, how to compost our vegetable peelings. But this has fundamentally changed.
 
SLIDE: Direct mail headlines
 
And this is the driving force behind the headlines, the government action, the movies, the Peace Prizes. In a way it is incredibly heartening that collective views are changing the world for the better.
 
And so within the context of these rapidly changing consumer perceptions our industry sent 4bn pieces of direct marketing.
 
SLIDE: Household waste chart
 
According to the National Refuse and Waste Foundation this constituted around 3-5% of UK household waste, between 750,000 to 1.25m tonnes of waste per year. About half of this was addressed direct mail with the other half being free newspapers and flyers. Paper and card contribute 18% of all household waste and as you can see is one of the bigger constituents. Of this nearly all is recyclable but the majority currently ends up going to landfill.
 
SLIDE: Forest and trees

 

Given the relatively low levels of post consumer recycled paper in current direct marketing these volumes mean up to 500,000 trees are felled to create the paper upon which marketing messages are printed. Many of us, including Capital One, have for many years used renewable paper sources which is a real step forward. However could we go further as we explore new less impactful ways of servicing our paper needs.
 
Shared context:
 
Whether we are a creative agency, a business or an organisation, these trends are important. Why? Because we have profited from the growth in our industry and we now stand at the edge of the next period of profitable growth.
 
The pressure has built but we are well placed to take action together. These trends that we are seeing are not going to go away they are building and changing the political landscape and the very society we live in.
 
I also think that making changes on a significant scale to answer such pressing concerns is a privilege not afforded to many. I am not a brave Greenpeace activist or a political campaigner. What I am is a business person but I believe that this is an opportunity for me, and for you, to make a real difference to something that really matters.
 
Credentials and Vulnerability:
 
What I am not is a committed environmentalist. My wife will tell you I have struggled with our orange recycling sacks and the whole concept of sorting rubbish. My compost heap was an unmitigated disaster.
 
I was sceptical of the case for global warming. I’m still not sure who to really believe.
 
But what I do know is that we as a society seem to be consuming a lot. You see our consumption all the time. When I visit my local tip in the last

 

couple of years I’ve started to really think about the huge amount of stuff that gets thrown away. Over time I’ve come round to the point of view that we are putting too much stress on the system. We are wasteful.
 
Personal Motivation:
 
I believe passionately in answering these challenges. It really matters to me.
 
Why? Because I believe that there is great opportunity to be taken. Opportunity for my career, for Capital One’s business and for the customers that we as a business serve. Developing a sustainable approach to direct marketing has the opportunity to create even more wealth for the UK economy, our businesses and keep more people in jobs.
 
I want to be proud of the creativity and innovation in our industry and regain the positive praise of the UK consumer for presenting great offers to them in a direct and engaging way.
 
Acknowledgement of Resistance:
 
Of course there is always going to be much resistance to change. Most of the coverage we read is about the threat not the opportunity. Change across the value and supply chain of direct marketing will be far from easy. It will require concerted effort and years of focus.
 
But the risk of inaction is bigger than all the risks of change combined. We potentially lose the ability to regulate our own industry and lose the final vestiges of good will of the consumer. Plus I think we would lose confidence and creativity.
 
Future: Declare/describe/stakes
 
So how do we move to a sustainable model?

 

I’d like to share some ideas for your consideration, and then share what action Capital One is taking and why.
 
I believe what is called for is the whole industry to understand and unify behind a clear set of responsibilities and accountabilities, including all players: agencies and clients, the supply chain, government and the representative groups such as the IPA or DMA.
 
For those businesses that use direct marketing I believe that the responsibilities are asymmetric and that we should apply higher expectations of leadership to the top 20 players. The top 20 direct mailers in the UK, and this includes Capital One, are only 0.2% of all users of direct mail in the UK but represents 26% of all volume. We, as top mailers, have the greatest responsibility and ability to affect change across the whole value chain.
 
SLIDE: Responsibilities of business
 
The responsibility of businesses should be to consider carefully their activities with respect to sustainability. Firstly to demand creative that is less impactful on the environment; secondly to ensure that the materials used are sustainable, for example using more post consumer recycled waste, friendlier inks and windowless envelopes; thirdly to drive increases in effectiveness so that volumes can reduce; fourthly, to actively promote the recycling of direct marketing through direct consumer behaviour and other ideas yet created; and lastly to share experiences and data openly to encourage others to follow our lead. Taking an active part in initiatives like the proposed Environmental Standard for direct marketing will be important signals of our action.
 
SLIDE: Responsibilities of agencies
 
The responsibility of agencies should be to ensure that they become technical and creative experts in the sustainability of ideas and materials. To maintain the highest standards of environmental design in their creativity and innovation; and to make the case for change by demonstrating effectiveness both through response and cost.
 
SLIDE: Responsibilities of supply chain
 
The supply chain must respond proactively to the changes that their clients will start to demand and to invest now to cover this demand. For example there is not enough 100% recycled paper to cover the needs of the top 20 mailers in the UK at current volumes. We need the paper industry to respond to this and similar challenges at lower cost. The suppliers to our industry also need to work with us, share ideas and engage in dialogue as our industry changes. We need to work in partnership to ensure sustainability.
 
Government has the responsibility to hold us as an industry to account but also to give us a chance to demonstrate our leadership. And of course if we don’t rise to the challenge then they have the responsibility, and would
have my support, in taking action.
 
SLIDE: Role of DMA
 
Finally let’s think about the responsibilities of our representative bodies such as the DMA. It won’t be a surprise to many of you that I hear some frustration with the DMA and the state of our industry with respect to environmental issues. Some have accused the DMA of being a “talking shop”. Well I don’t buy this. The DMA is a representative body. If we as an industry don’t drive change then the DMA can’t do it for us.
 
I see a strong role for representative bodies such as the DMA. I believe they can make a major contribution to the change that we are going to drive, by providing a co-ordination point for action across the supply chain, to be a catalyst for innovation, to be a central communication point with government and to hold us all accountable. Of these responsibilities what we lack most, frustratingly for an industry with such creativity and innovation, is ideas to make our commitments a reality. How will be meet our recycling commitments? We need to generate new ideas to answer these challenges – the DMA can help us here.
 
If we were all to act consistently against these responsibilities I think it would be a huge signal to the government and, for me, more importantly, the UK consumer that we take our impact seriously.
 
I would also advocate that these responsibilities be codified into a long term plan to secure sustainability across the supply and value chain. This plan could run for 5 or even 10 years. And this plan should be our commitment to ensuring increasing improvements in reducing our environmental impact to as low as possible whilst ensuring that we improve our marketing effectiveness and respond to the changing challenges from consumers.
 
Action:
 
Capital One is taking action and I’d like to outline the actions that we are taking to respond to our responsibilities and our changing marketing model. What excites me most about these challenges is that I believe wholeheartedly in the ability of our associates to win in the market when given a constantly changing marketing landscape. Changes present us at Capital One with the opportunity to move faster and smarter than our competitors.
 
SLIDE: The Capital One Marketing model continues to move from push to pull
 
We are cutting volumes and moving our response model to be much more integrated across the marketing mix. We are investing more in above the line communications and brand building to create medium term pull. We see response dynamics changing in the financial services industry much more towards internet and the inbound model.
 
SLIDE: Internet is now main acquisition channel for direct credit cards

 

We are investing in our internet infrastructure for both customer servicing and customer acquisition. We are setting stretching targets for ourselves to reduce our environmental impact by using electronic channels. The internet is already our primary channel for customer acquisition and will be our primary channel for customer servicing in the next couple of years with all the associated benefits of e-servicing such as lower occurrence of paper statements.
 
SLIDE: Media fragmentation.
 
We are exploring the changing role that direct marketing plays in our marketing model. Understanding the increasingly complex fragmentation
of media presents new opportunities to engage through integration. We are finding direct marketing still has a powerful role to play in acquiring customers however the role is subtly changing from an application channel to an information giving channel. We are actively exploring new pull
models of direct marketing rather than pushing.
 
SLIDE: Towards a sustainable model for Capital One
 
We have established a project to assess the environmental impact of our business in detail. This will report early next year. It will allow us to take action to move Capital One in the UK towards true carbon neutrality across our supply chain and with minimal use of carbon offsetting.
 
We have established an environmental council within the company globally tasked with raising the awareness of environmental issues within the company and with our associates. In a somewhat controversial move we removed all desk bins from our UK campuses and installed central
recycling stations. This has allowed us to cut our office contribution to landfill by 66%. In Nottingham we held our first environmental week about a month ago where 2000 associates could engage in thinking and action on environmental issues.

 

We are including recycling logos on all our printed materials as of Q1 next year and will establish monitoring of levels of recycling within our customer base.
 
Finally, I am delighted to announce, that we will be moving to 100% post consumer waste recycled paper on all our paper materials (internal and external) in Q1 next year. We have qualified these papers over the past year and the testing has been extensive. Working in close partnership with our print suppliers Williams Lea we have been able to make this move cost neutral with little reduction in quality. We tested the papers with
consumers in and out of market. We have seen no change in consumer perception of the quality of the packs and response to the move to recycled paper has been uniformly well received. We also saw an increase in response.
 
Once we have made the move we will be publishing a series of case studies where we will share much of our experiences and data freely to encourage positive change across the industry.
 
But this is just the start of our journey. We are also exploring radically different targeting models, new forms of direct mail, tighter channel integration and use of integrated media to build both our brand and get response. This will allow us to continue to use direct marketing in an effective and sustainable approach whilst winning in the market.
 
Action/ask:
 
So I’ve told you what we at Capital One are doing and I’ve outlined what I
believe are the values and approaches we should use to frame our actions.
 
SLIDE:Its up to us
 
What I ask from you is three fold:

 

Contribute ideas. Let’s use our combined creativity to come up with the answers to the searching questions that we are being asked.
 
Engage in the dialogue but always ask the question – what do we need to do.
 
Then Take action. Make changes to the way you develop and use direct marketing that make it more sustainable.
 
Close:
 
I believe this is a defining leadership moment for our industry. I believe we are presented with a huge opportunity.
A creative, vibrant, confident, sustainable future is our destiny; it is in our hands but can slip through our fingers; we must take action now to make our destiny our reality.
 
Thank you for listening and I am happy to take questions.