Too much junk mail - who knew!?!?!?

It might be up there with the news that Queen Anne's dead, but apparently too many companies are sending us too much irrelevant junk mail!

Now the companies that send it are being warned that their ill-targeted efforts are actually undermining potential direct marketing success.

According to research from SPSS, almost half of the direct mail that companies send to existing customers on a regular basis contains offers that are of little interest to recipients. As a consequence, consumers start to associate a brand with irritation rather than with a desire to buy its product or services, according to the leading provider of predictive analytics.

“The number one rule of marketing is to adapt to consumer wishes,” said Adrian Carr, vice-president, EMEA sales at SPSS. “Companies risk irritating and alienating their customers if they don’t take this into account. Instead of pushing often-irrelevant campaigns, they should start to listen to what customers want.”

The survey also revealed that one-third of the respondents are put off by misleading offers, while one in ten feel overwhelmed by companies’ relentless mailing. “Direct marketing needs to be all about delivering well-targeted offers which match individual customers’ needs, in the way they prefer,” continued Carr.

“Rather than taking a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, companies should plan direct marketing campaigns to better predict and anticipate consumer preferences," he advised. “By collecting and analysing customer feedback from all contact channels they can ensure the campaign actually matches the needs and attitudes of the target audience.

"A thorough analysis of a centralised, consolidated customer base also enables marketing departments to target the right people with the right information at the right time. Thus it is possible to predict each customer’s preferences and increase the likelihood that they will respond to a campaign.”


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31st Aug 2006 15:37

For example, in my opinion the best company in the world for their consumer-related targetd messaging is Amazon.

I get an email around once a month from them (usually around payday so I'm feeling a little flush), that includes items that generally I'm interested in. As a result, I think I buy more from Amazon every year than all other retail outlets combined.

However, the only reason for this is that I regularly take the time to update my recommendations, and let them know what information I want.

Maybe we shouldn't bemoan the comapnies that send un-targeted DM, but as an industry should encourage people to let us know more about what they want to hear about....and stop basing targets on response or click-throughs and start to look at real results like customer lifetime value, and efficient marketing spend?

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31st Aug 2006 14:48

As a direct marketing professional, I'm probably very biased when it comes to this topic. But I've always believed in one thing...

"The consumer controls the route to market. Ultimately marketeers are searching for the most cost-effective and efficient routes for the promotion of their products and companies. If consumers were able to show a better way for marketeers to contact them, then they would do it. We are all measured by response, so surely if the consumer doesn't respond, then it's of no use to a marketeer?"

Just a thought....

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