As a marketer, I have to wonder how any of this is cost-effective.

Yep, I’m still pregnant

Some database out there still thinks I’m pregnant.

Direct mail offers are continuing to pour in for cord blood storage, baby seats, celebrity maternity wear, baby bottles with high-tech nipples, strollers with independent suspension, stretch mark cream, and the very latest in mushy food nutrition delivery technology. I am receiving a free subscription to “Babytalk” magazine, and Peyton Manning wants me to have my baby at his Children’s Hospital. I can’t decide whether I should join the “VIB” (Very Important Baby) club at Babies R Us, or perhaps the Baby Registry at Baby Depot. Maybe both. And then there’s the crucial decision as to which diaper system will be best…

For the record, I am a dude. About as dude-like as a man can get. Beard, motorcycles, hairy knuckles, etc. It’s a very safe bet that I am not pregnant, and my wife is definitely not pregnant either. I have no idea how word of my delicate condition got out, but it has made getting the mail a lot more fun — what new bit of misdirected marketing will show up today?

This is an actual thing that exists.The onslaught is a little frightening, honestly. Pregnancy is private medical information, yet somehow word still leaks out, and a huge, indifferent marketing machine leaps into action to bury every new mom in brochures. The same thing happens at other life events as well — when you move, retire, have an accident, get married, or buy a car, your recycling bin will overflow.

As a marketer, I have to wonder how any of this is cost-effective. Direct mail can be amazingly effective, but only when it’s finely — and correctly — targeted. Prune your lists, respect your members, and consider what else they’re getting in the mail that day. Do what credit unions do best — be different.

Brian Wringer

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