While not being an expert in marketing my experience tells me most businesses should have well defined cues in their customer databases to help them assess whether a customer is “ripe for the picking” or should be “left alone for now”. So colour me flummoxed when for, what felt like the 10th time in the past 6 months, I received another “offer” to commit to be even more indebted to Which Bank?
If you know my recent history with Which Bank? it has to be said either something is screwing up badly in their CRM or I’m doing something very stupid to attract the junk.
At one of our Digital Citizens events last year, I explained to one of our panellists how odd I found the begging letters I got a few times a year from the Children’s Hospital in Westmead. I understood I had stupidly added my name and address to a donation to the Hospital I randomly made once, so guessed I might get something from them occasionally. What I couldn’t fathom was why they would waste so much energy on expensively created multi-page begging letters which resonated not one jot with me. He explained to me in great detail, with some segments, this sort of campaign actually worked really well for his organisation. To the extent that some of their regular contributors would stop donating if they hadn’t received one.
I’ve been recently starting to get an amount of begging junk from other charities as well. Which makes me both angry and worried. Angry because some bastard must’ve given my details to a database and they’ve picked me up. Worried because I thought back to that conversation and wondered: am I now part of that segment?
When I wrote a couple of years ago
What if the…computer algorithms have CORRECTLY identified your market segment, but your ambitions, your DESIRES are focused in a different direction.
I was thinking objectively. I always thought, like Carol Beer, the computer would never actually ever say yes. None of the advertising ever resonates with me so I always felt I sat outside of these segments. And naively assumed I would forever avoid the junk.
Say perhaps the computer is right, and I now sit within a well crafted segment. Does that make the data inputs wrong because none of the content works on me? Or have the charities and Which Bank? been tweaking CRM and MRM algorithms because their KPI’s have changed? Perhaps the ROI on their previous methods weren’t good enough and, at least at Which Bank? they are ensuring remuneration solely linked to profit and share price meets the level of their expectations.
And if that is the reason I am getting the same letter for so long at least once a month, and the increasing amount of begging letters from charities then how long, and how many failed campaigns have to pass before the computer figures out that I might not actually be interested?
In the case of the Charities they are taking additional costs but little risk in exposing their campaigns to a new market. But when Which Bank? monthly remind me: “You still have time etc..” they are loading risk onto their retention of me as a customer.
I’ve already indicated when the time is right, I’m ready to sever my ties with Which Bank? due to the stretching of my trust in recent years. While I know that makes me one of those low touch customers I mentioned earlier, the fact the computer is saying yes to sending me junk means Which Bank? still hasn’t got the message.
Consider this the start of a completely unscientific experiment to discover how long before they do.