A discriminating age

January 27, 2008

A feature of life in the post vacation period is that when I finally get home there is usually a pile of unopened post waiting for me. This is not often very exciting. I hardly ever get any interesting letters. The only people who send me letters are either trying to sell me something, or trying to make me pay for something; I usually only receive interesting correspondence, from real people, by email.

Last Sunday evening was no exception. I arrived home and eventually got round to skimming through week’s post; The usual stuff, a gas bill from an electricity company and an electricity bill from British Gas, who for some reason had used an envelope with bilingual English and Welsh wording; and half a dozen direct marketing envelopes destined for the bin.

But wait!…. What’s this? A direct marketing offer from….The Oldie magazine.

I get a lot of subscription offers from magazines. This is because I sometimes take up free offers and then cancel once the free issues have arrived. I am obviously held in their Customer Relationship Management and Campaign Management systems as a hot lead, but difficult to convert.

But…. The Oldie?!… The clue is in the name. Surely I’m not old enough to read that, despite the claim in the letter that “It’s about attitude not age”. The Oldie was a magazine founded by a grumpy older person who was fed up with “being inundated by a mass of celebrity- and ‘yoof’ obsessed features”….

I can’t be part of that demographic…. Their customer segmentation model must be wrong. I’ve just finished my 12 month free offer from Vanity Fair (didn’t renew with a paid subscription, I thought it was rubbish…. full of celebrities and handbag adverts with just a few good articles now and then).

That’s what happens when you let computers apply marketing rules. No empathy.It never used to be like that.


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