And sometimes I just shake my head. My apparently never-ending stream of poorly executed direct mail continues, with the latest effort being a shockingly bad example from Marriott’s Fairfield Inn and Visa. It appears to be the result of a co-op promotion, which may account for the execution; nobody at either Marriott or Visa felt they were responsible for the results of the effort, and it shows.
For the record, the family and I are fans of Fairfield Inns and signed up for Marriott’s Rewards program as the result of numerous stays at their Hazelton, PA location. The staff is always great, the rooms clean and cookies and DVD movies are always enthusiastically offered to us when we check in at 9 or 10 pm the Tuesday evening before Thanksgiving.
Now, if only those responsible for their direct response efforts could feel the same enthusiasm. Rather than rant and rave, here’s a PDF file of the quick analysis I’ve sent to Marriott’s marketing team.
My first post of 2008 comes as the result of a fairly normal activity that many of us–if we listen to the financial gurus and our financial advisors–undertake every year. Namely, double-checking our financial records, investment portfolio allocations, life insurance and so forth.
During this year’s analysis of my bank accounts, I found that a teaser rate from Wachovia bank had expired and the interest rate on one of my money market accounts had gone down from 4.75% to the standard rate of 1.75%. As the result of a couple of phone calls and some quick online banking, Wachovia lost a large chunk of my business that they needn’t have.
And they could have prevented it all by taking a lesson from Willams-Sonoma.
Over the years I, and my clients have labored mightily at our marketing efforts. Hours of careful thought about our marketing objectives, followed by more hours of careful analysis of past test results. And even more analysis of our lists and target audiences, followed by hour upon hour of agonized copywriting and creative development. Lastly, double- and triple-checking test emails, lettershop insertion samples and testing our telemarketing scripts in every imaginable way.
After all that careful planning and analysis, what could possibly go wrong?