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American Direct Marketing Services Blog

Database Marketing and Targeted Mailings

by Scott Casson | Aug 01, 2012

I recently read the following article, liked what I read and secured permission from Annetta Holmes to post it here on my marketing blog.  I think you’ll find some solid thoughts and maybe a few ideas to enhance your campaigns.  SC

Why should targeted marketing using segmented consumer mailing lists be the back bone of your marketing strategy? 

The following may help you see what happens when you don’t:

An Asian man walks up to you and starts speaking Mandarin. You’re startled because you’re standing in down-town Austin, wearing cowboy boots, and speaking English to your wife. The Chinese man ignores your confusion and continues in Mandarin. Your perplexity quickly turns to irritation: “Can he not see that I’m not Chinese?”

How does a consumer perceive your company when you flood his mail box with junk?

Marketing “noise” swirls around all the time. In a typical day, with too many duties and a lot less time, consumers learn to delete useless blurb. Your average shopper concentrates on exactly what they need. The rest is ignored.

Marketing copy may be bursting with catchy phrases and slick pay-off lines. Its paragraphs filled with wit, color and come-ons. Creatively you jig saw it together into a neat little package. All is worthless if lands in the wrong place.

Financial Managers demand results for pricy marketing campaigns. CEO’s want high returns. At the center of it all is you and your marketing strategy. The question in your mind is how are you going to achieve your targets?

Good market research results in a customer profile. Once your profile is defined you need an accurate method of reaching that client. That’s where targeted mailings will match your product with your purchaser.

A shot-gun approach to mail drops is archaic and expensive. A target-specific database is the answer. The database should be the cornerstone upon which any marketing campaign is built. Database marketing means you are instantly talking to that consumer who needs your product.

By using a database, you closely target the audience from your market research. It’s the next logical step in a successful strategy. The person whom you’re about to approach can sooner or later purchase what you are selling. Whether you are creating interest and awareness for local business or advertising on behalf of a national plumbing franchise, the names you must be talking to will be pinpointed by the database.

Database mailings allow you to talk to a person rather than “the general public.” If you draw on your own experiences of receiving a mail box filled with irrelevant advertising, which is immediately thrown away, you will see the value of “talk to the right person.”

In her book “Just Ask a Woman” Mary Lou Quinlan keeps repeating that one should listen to one’s market. Why should a consumer bother to give your mailing piece the time of day when you haven’t bothered to find out if they need the product? By pursuing only those people that do need and want what you’re selling indicates to them that you have listened. You’re telling them you have done your homework. You realize their time is precious. It’s the best compliment you can pay anyone – recognizing that they are a person; with school runs, shopping and work – not a stat on a sheet or a profit-growth percentage.

In an environment where most lines of communication are pulsing with messages, get yours through by rounding up all those buyers that require your product. That begins with the right mailing for the right person. From there you can begin to create your relationship with that consumer using follow ups.

Consumers are not a mob. They are individuals. A consumer is a person with a need.

By repeating your mailings you become more real to the person you want to deal with. You haven’t just said “Good Morning. I’m here,” and then disappeared. You’re back next week or next month saying “Here I am.” They see your name, they know you’re there. For them you have a “face.” It’s the “Oh, Jakes Plumbing’s still around,” message that you’re building. It may take several mailings before Mrs. Roberts needs your service. However if you’ve been developing that relationship and arriving with your note on a regular basis, Mrs. Roberts will reach for your brochure in her kitchen drawer when the sink leaks or the drain backs up.

Time is at a premium with consumers. New products jostle for their attention. A top quality database allows you to zero in on your market. This improves your chances of creating the best impression for your product.

Mark H. McCormack in his book “What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School,” explains the fear of intruding into the consumer’s life. He shows it is only an intrusion when you as the advertiser are insensitive to the signals your customer is sending out. McCormack may have written his book many years ago but today, people still hate insensitivity.

More and more resistance is being put up by the consumer overwhelmed by badly targeted promotions. It’s a slap in their face when you pour offerings into their mail box that have nothing to do with them. It tells them “I haven’t done my homework. I don’t care about your time constraints. I want you to look at my great copy and buy something you don’t need!” How would you feel if someone did that to you?

This lack of marketing sense gets what it deserves – the trash can.

Building a relationship with someone cannot happen in a flash. You need to carefully define your market, find the conduit to speak to that audience, introduce your product and then continue to talk to your potential client. Targeted mailings are the perfect transmitter. They remind people that you are working hard for their business. If you view marketing as a communication tool then you’ll see how important follow ups are. Your first step is open up dialogue. Next… keep talking!

Almost daily, new ad campaigns clamor for a piece of the consumer’s attention. Maintain contact with your clients by regular use of database marketing and targeted mailings.

By Annetta Holmes

      All ADMS lists are guaranteed to be of the highest quality in the industry. Lists are updated quarterly, NCOA'd twice a year and certified to be 93% accurate.