Direct Line Blog

Why I'm cool with behavioral targeting

Share this article:
Why I'm cool with behavioral targeting
Why I'm cool with behavioral targeting

Like many customers, I don't fit neatly into a demographic bucket. I'm a 48-year-old woman with what I like to call an 18-year-old-boy gene. In other words, I like action flicks, junk food, and muscle cars. If marketers were to look solely at my demographics, they'd undoubtably send offers or campaigns my way that make sense to them, but not to me. Not that all the marketing communications I receive are completely off-target. But many aren't even a near-miss.

In fact, I just received an email from Ford touting its spiffy new Escape SUV. (Excuse me while I stifle a yawn.) Feeling a bit snarky, I hit reply and penned the following:

“Dear Ford,

Seriously? I own a Mustang. You know I do. I follow Mustang on Twitter and liked it on Facebook. I've clicked through emails you've sent me to go search your site for Mustang paraphernalia and badges, check out the current model, and "customize" my dream Mustang (three times!). I've clicked through Mustang ads (and Camaro ads, not that you'd know that). I've never once expressed any interest in an SUV. Why on earth would you email me about the Escape? It may be all new, with cool features and whatever, but clearly I'm interested in sports cars, not sports utility vehicles. You may want to reconsider your segmentation strategy. Thanks for thinking of me, though.”

I still have the email in my drafts folder. I hesitate to send it; likely it will get to the customer service center, and then land in a black hole. Also, it's not that Ford was wrong; its approach was just suboptimal. So I decided to share the story here instead. Hopefully, I will inspire you to go after that marketing Holy Grail: the holistic customer view. Because, add some transactional and behavioral data to demographics and that's when things get interesting.

The situation is this: Looking at just my demographic data—age, income, geography, and the like—it makes sense to Ford to pitch me its Escape. But if the company had looked beyond those basics and considered all my activity around the Mustang—most of which Ford should have access to—it would have sent me an email for the 2013 Mustang instead of the 2013 Escape.

So go ahead, Marketers, track me. If it'll make your campaigns more relevant and engaging, then do it. Please.

Share this article:
close

Next Article in Direct Line Blog

Sign up to our newsletters

Latest Jobs:


Company of the week

Data Services, Inc. meets the needs of today's data-driven marketer by providing front-end database management and data analytics platforms alongside our expertise in global contact data quality, database building and ongoing maintenance that comes with our 45+ years in business.


Find out more here »

More in Direct Line Blog

The State of B2B Marketing Automation

The State of B2B Marketing Automation

Adoption of marketing automation in B2B varies widely by industry—as does the perception of its value.

Do You Really Know What Motivates Your Customers?

Do You Really Know What Motivates Your Customers?

Direct marketing is about understanding customers enough to drive them to act; Walk the Walk is a distinctive example.

5 Trends Influencing Marketing Today and, More so, Tomorrow

5 Trends Influencing Marketing Today and, More so, ...

From marketing tools to customer behaviors, here are five developments that continue to gain steam—and what to do about them.