Marketing needs target practice

John Shannon’s opinion (“Say it loud and keep it simple” MW October 5) made interesting reading. According to him, the time has come for us marketers to revert to a caveman’s approach to consumer communications if we are to maximise any sort of message penetration.

While I agree that there are several challenges we face, such as media and audience fragmentation and time fatigue – to name just a couple – make no mistake, it will be precision targeting and relevance that cracks the communication code.

For example, the Saverfone offering combines the power of wireless technology with the clout of data-gathering capability to offer consumers a highly targeted service whereby they can locate high-street retail promotions to the nearest 500 metres. Consumers get what they want and the retailers have gained footfall and shifted inventory, and so the key objectives of communications are successfully achieved.

Yes, the age-old poster catches the eye (perhaps it is truer to say that they overwhelm the eye), but it is high time we realised that the winning formula safely remains in the partnership of modern technology combined with data processing excellence.

Finally, mass-market blanket awareness always runs the risk of resulting in “blanket annoyance” or worse still, ambivalence. And this will never yield the profitable conversion rates we all seek from the bottom line.

Andrew Hughes



London W1

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