Motorcycles and targeted marketing

cover image for Motorcycles and targeted marketing

Last night I got SMS spam from Moto-Seinäjoki, a motorcycle dealer in the bothnia region of Finland, quite far from here. The message was advertising the possibility of test driving some of their new Honda range.

Having been in the team building a direct marketing application, org.openpsa.directmarketing, I wanted to note the couple of mistakes in this particular message:

  • Targeting: Seinäjoki is hundreds of kilometers away from where I live. This makes it quite unlikely that I would go there for a test drive, especially as there are several Honda dealerships in Helsinki

  • Targeting: I ride a Triumph Legend, a British motorcycle. Therefore it is unlikely that I would be interested in a “rice burner

  • Timing: The message arrived during the night. If I hadn’t had my mobile phone on silent I might’ve woken up to it, which would have made me very annoyed

  • Permission: I’m quite sure I haven’t given the company permission to send me SMS messages. It is always a good idea to ask permission, as otherwise you can easily get judged to be a spammer

The targeting questions are dependent on how good information about me the company has in their CRM system. The company had gotten my number during negotiations about switching my bike to a newer Triumph year ago, and so they should have information on both the city I live in, and the bike I ride.

However, the two other points are more inexcusable. People are very skeptical about direct marketing and if you want to get through you need to:

  • Send messages that are really relevant
  • Send them to only people that have asked for them

As Joe writes:

Shoot your letters, e-mails and other crap you feel like delivering to whomever might get your message. Problems with this approach are almost so obvious it is questionable, if they should even be listed here. Messages might reach the right audience, but without any meaning to them. Those messages also get lost in masses of others attempts to get attention of the customers.

Think before you send

To make direct marketing work, you need a combination of good tools and good ideas about what to send and to who. Otherwise you will only manage to annoy potential customers.