Wednesday, March 04, 2009

not dark yet...

Had to have a wry chuckle at an article on Brand Rebublic that was pinged round the office this week.

Titled 'Personalised DM significantly more likely to succeed' the article claims
'The majority of consumers are between five and ten times more likely to respond to properly personalised marketing offers compared to [superficially personalised] communications..'

According to direct marketing agency GI Direct, 'more than 70% of UK adults take more notice of mail that is aimed specifically and accurately at them'

Apparently their research gave "hard evidence of the critical importance of targeted direct marketing...[Marketers need to] examine the level of personalisation applied in their direct marketing campaigns, in order to ensure, at the least, they are matching competitor standards, and at best exceeding the market norm in order to improve campaign responsiveness and subsequent sales."

Nice try but spectacularly missing the point - and to set mediocrity (match competitor standards) as a benchmark is mildly depressing.

Personalisation is good but without PERMISSION it means nothing. The article fails to recognise this, and this is the big problem that direct marketing - whether on or offline - is still struggling to address after all this time.

If the communication is unsolicited it is SPAM. And what's more - if it's too personalised (but still unsolicited) its CREEPY SPAM.

Why am I getting my knickers in a twist? Here's a laugh for you.

In the last month or so Ive recieved 3 mailshots, from different companies to my home address, personalised to a degree (ie my name, and they know my age) for fucking MOBILITY SCOOTERS. Yes, the things old people drive round the supermarket.

I'm (just) over 40 so according to 'demographics' and 'specific and accurate targeting' I'm on my last legs and will shorly be road-raging round Sainsbury's, presumably looking for food that can be taken with a straw.

Total fail, based on broad assumptions, flaky research and ignorant speculation all dressed up as personalisation. Zero relevance unfortunately and another waste of paper.

Looking forward to the next mailshot for false teeth, hearing aids and zimmer frames.

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