We often talk about business rules for data-driven communications. Rules help to drive personalized, relevant communications, but even with the most sophisticated rules, data still requires human logic, reasoning, and insight. Real, live stakeholders in both the marketing and data sides of the business need to be actively involved throughout the process. Yesterday, we received a direct mailer that shows what happens when they aren’t.
The idea behind the mailer was a good one. The offer was for window treatments, and since we just purchased a home, it was relevant to us. It was the right list, mailed promptly, so the timing was excellent.
But the marketing copy? “Welcome to Annapolis South!”?
It would have been great if we lived near Annapolis, but we don’t. We live more than 50 miles away. We also live north of Annapolis, not south, and it’s not one of those cities where people regularly commute back and forth either for work or entertainment.
Personalizing the message was a good idea. The timing was appropriate. Then the geographic parameters got set. My guess is by someone other than the person who crafted the marketing copy. Either this or the parameters were adjusted later by someone not involved with the messaging. You know, someone farther down the marketing chain who said something like, “Hey, wait a minute! Annapolis is the capital of Maryland. Let’s not make the geographic radius too restrictive!” That works in some markets but not in others. It doesn’t work in this one.
Data-driven print personalization is a powerful tool, but even with the most sophisticated business rules, it still requires communication between all of the stakeholders and the application of human logic and reason by someone (or multiple people) with knowledge and understanding of the target markets. In this case, the headquarters of this chain is in California, so having those eyes would have been that much more important.
When you are crafting personalization campaigns for your clients, how closely are the stakeholders working together throughout the process? Are data bloopers like this able to get through?