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?
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.