Try to take the right direction

Interesting piece about the motor trade “Spotlight: Car buyers put wheels in motion” (MW September 6). But I have to question the objectives of the research. If research on off-road vehicles had been carried out, would it have included the mini? I think not, therefore why include direct mail in analysis of recall?

I work in the business and I can’t remember who I’ve received mail from in the past week, let alone 12 months. However, when I was looking for a new car, I took a test-drive of a car I hadn’t previously considered as a direct result of a mailing.

I wonder what the research would have shown if people who had taken a test-drive were asked which media had directly motivated them.

What the research does show is that there is a lack of understanding about direct marketing and

targeting.

I would be concerned if the direct mail recall figures were low for people within a month of purchase.

If the car manufacturers have got it right they should only be targeting people who are just about to buy – unless they have a prospecting loyalty programme (like Ford’s Talkback scheme). So, given that only six per cent were looking to buy within the next month, it is not surprising recall figures were low and that only six per cent found direct mailshots useful in selection.

Come on – let’s have some better thought through analysis. How about combining spend figures with recall – I’m sure that would get marketing directors worried (and delight others).

Also it would have been interesting to see the effect of telephone marketing.

David Hodson

Newsletters Ltd

London WC2

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