DCA Summit 2016: Miles Berry’s Perspective


The Direct Commerce Association Annual Summit was held at the Hurlingham Club on Thursday 2nd June; highlights of the day below.

Sunline isn’t just about high volume direct mail production; we support the industry and its aims, and we were delighted to attend the Summit once again at the beautiful Hurlingham Club.

DCA Summit 2016The day was ably hosted by Mark Wilby of Nauticalia, who introduced a balanced succession of largely entertaining speakers and topics.

First up from Dixons Carphone was a guide to the dos and don’ts of customer service via webchat, involving such terminology as “avoiding scope creep” which is a not actually a warning about an unsavoury character with a periscope.

We were warned not to pounce too early but to use webchat intelligently, for example when customers exhibit signs that they might be about to abandon the site or are struggling.

Amy Africa then gave us a barrage of mobile tips which we could tell were being lapped up by the audience; far too many to attempt a summary, and again we were introduced to intriguing terminology such as Donuts, Pulls, Blocks, Boutiques, Spreaders and Hoppers…

Head spinning, coffee was needed…

Following which Andrew Nisbet gave a charming and disarmingly honest appraisal of the development, successes and failures of the plc which bears his name; with 20% share of the UK catering equipment supplies market, a very successful operation despite the 40% staff churn in the call centre. His aim of “uncomfortable enjoyment” brought smiles to those of us who have ever run a business.

The run up to lunch featured contributions from companies including Damart, Boden, Pitney Bowes and Mohn Media, and contained a mix of panel discussion and prepared presentations covering the overall theme of “Data Futures”. The main contribution to the lexicon was “incrementality” as the best way of handling sales attribution to channel.
DCA Summit 2016

After lunch…

Epsilon Abacus gave us highlights from their latest “Health of The Home Shopping Sector” report, for which the link is here: https://issuu.com/epsilonabacus/docs/wr_abacus_trend_report

In her session on Social Media, Chloe Thomas gave us more terms such as “social media sinkhole” and “carousel ads” as well as a list of suggested sites and feeds to look at as guides to best practice including Classic Sailing, Sugru and Jamie Oliver. Her advice on picking your platform and mastering it seemed to go down well.
There was one more session before the round tables and it fell to Tod Norman of Marketreach to deliver 30 minutes of material in 7 minutes- which he accomplished with great wit and charm, dispelling myths in The Life Stages of Mail.  The most memorable message was that young people know that they lie on social media all the time, so assume that companies do likewise. Beware!

And so after the round table sessions it was time to change for the ECMOD Awards- but that’s another story…