Badly targeted, irrelevant and pointless

Recently I received a brochure through the door. It was a 60 page directory of builders’ merchants around the country, and featured a road atlas. It had a glossy front cover, and was printed in colour on nice quality paper. It boasted the fact that they had over 600 branches around the country, and advertised an app so that I could keep up to date with all the latest branch locations (from Scotland to Cornwall).

Although there was nothing wrong with it, and it’s quite a nice piece of literature, it’s completely irrelevant to me, and was therefore a total waste of money.

A brochure is an expensive item to produce, and they had obviously been delivered door to door which is one of the most random forms of marketing you can do. (More about that in another post.)

So here’s what went wrong:

  • I currently have no interest in builders’ merchants – we are not doing any work on the house, nor are we contemplating it
  • If I did, I would only be interested in a 10 mile radius of where we live
  • Why would I care if a new branch opened in Scotland?
  • I use a satellite navigation system, so have no need of an atlas
  • The brochure is A5 in size, so the atlas aspect is pretty pointless anyway as it’s too small

And here’s what they could have done:

  • Distributed it to builders rather than householders
  • Targeted houses with evidence of building work
  • Bought a mailing list of people with planning permission to build
  • Sent a smaller leaflet or postcard with an option to request the full directory
  • Promoted a website with the full list of branches and maps
  • Made it a local directory
  • Included some useful reference guides or articles

I’m presuming there must have been some rationale behind this campaign, but it smacks of an ‘internally focused’ activity rather than a ‘customer focused’ one.

This means that someone in the organisation has stated ‘We need to tell everyone about all our branches nationwide’ rather than thinking ‘Who are our potential customers and what do they need to know?’

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