Learn the rules of name game

Relationship marketing is all the rage at the moment and, rather like reflexology and aromatherapy, is something that I am very interested in and want to learn more about.

Imagine, then, how pleased I was to receive details of a two-day conference on relationship marketing for financial services – all the more so as this is the industry sector in which I work. The fact that they had written to me as Jonathan Sandford, head of marketing (which isn’t quite correct) didn’t bother me at the time.

However, two days later a further invitation arrived addressed to John Sandford, marketing director. This was further compounded by a third invitation addressed to Mr J Sandford, head of sales & marketing.

The sad thing is that despite having had three attempts to get it right, none of the mailshots had my correct title, and only a genuine “Jonathan” can tell you how painful it is to be called “John”. Even sadder, though, was that on the list of topics to be covered at the conference, number two was how to avoid the pitfalls of database marketing.

While the above should not reflect on, or detract from, the quality of the speakers chosen to present at this conference, this particular example of foot-shooting makes one wonder whether the pursuit of total relationship marketing will prove to be as futile as the search for the philosopher’s stone or the Holy Grail.

Needless to say, I decided to hold onto my 895 plus VAT.

Jonathan Sandford

General manager (marketing)

Lambeth Building Society

London SE1

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