Regular readers of this blog know that I gave been less than complimentary of the email marketing efforts made by Mercedes Benz USA. I would like to report that they have turned the corner and fugured it out, but alas, no. The most recent email I received, though much better than previous efforts with clear art and a decent call to action, still managed to violate a central marketing tenet; know your customer.
How hard is it to either survey your customer base to learn about them (which is the ideal method to start a two way dialogue your buyers) or to passively append critical demographic information about them? I am single with no children. The following solicitation shows how little it appears that I mean to the firm. If you click on the picture there is a clear view.
Irrelevant art, copy, and offers will turn off your customer base. I suppose it is true that it is possible that I have a niece, but that seems like a big stretch. There is little doubt that poorly targeted marketing communications sent on the basis of incomplete data with irrelevant messages will hurt both the brand and the customer relationship.
As marketers shift ever larger portions of their budget away from traditional channels to the web, email, and social media, it is critical to keep in mind the lessons learned in the past 50 years of direct marketing. There is no excuse, just because the channel is new to your firm, to send irrelevant content to your best prospects – your current customers. Know your customer and start a two way conversation with them to learn more.