Magazine article Marketing

Perplexing Tale of Missing out on the Obvious

Magazine article Marketing

Perplexing Tale of Missing out on the Obvious

Article excerpt

I just got an envelope from Scottish Provident marked 'private and confidential'. For once the phrase was true, not just a sly trick to get me to open it, since it contained news about my pension fund - news so private and confidential that the letter inside was completely blank. Something wrong with the computer, I suppose; but I am often mystified by what people in this business do, and why.

An agency called tsm has been spending a lot of money on an ad headed 'The power of advertising with the precision of direct marketing'. They have a quixotic approach to getting a response: no name to reply to, nor any kind of request, urge, incentive or encouragement to do so.

Rather sad, really; it's an admirably designed ad with an interesting proposition.

Mind you, Ken Humphrey, Bosch's marketing communications manager, would make an ideal client for them. He's running ads with phone numbers, but with "no immediate plans to use any data that is captured".

He's not even sure direct marketing would work in his sector - a "pushy approach" on which "the jury is still out". Has he been cloistered in the depths of the Black Forest for the last decade? Doesn't he know every intelligent marketer in the world and even some not too bright are obsessed with data and what can be done with it?

Jon Ingall, about to be promoted to some grand, unspecified function in the Havas group, would never make that mistake. But he did say in one of those adulatory interviews the trade press uses to fill blank pages: "When was the last time you got something through the letterbox and said 'Wow'? …

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