Monday, March 22, 2010

Badly researched mailing lists

The other day, I recieved a piece of junk mail from Sports Illustrated. I am not sure how much it costs them to send me an advertisement in the mail, but they are definitely wasting their money. This particular piece was good because it was based on market research that just doesn't apply to me.

First off, the special offer was a "Game Day Jacket of your Favorite Team!" And on the envelope they have a picture of a Denver Broncos jacket. Ok, this is based on faulty logic and research...I live in Denver, therefore I must be a Broncos fan.

I am not a Broncos fan. I might even be a Broncos hater. I had the honor of helping clean up after one of their Super Bowl win parades. I am not sure exactly where it says that if your team wins the Super Bowl, you are allowed to break the windows of businesses as you celebrate; but it must be written someplace because I ended up cleaning up a lot of broken glass that day. Because of that, I decided to cheer for whatever team that they are playing is nothing personal; I just do not want to ever have to put up with that damage to one of my businesses ever again (either as an owner or manager---come to think of it, I do not want to deal with it as an employee either).

Second off, my tastes in clothes do not lean towards wearing team jackets. Don't get me wrong; I do have some sport themed items of clothing. Outside of the stuff from the University of Colorado, most of it has either been gifted to me or brought from the bargain bin. Some of it is second hand. I am a writer, as long as it is comfortable I do not care what it looks like. (Ok, not completely true, I will not wear any Raiders gear: that stuff is simply ugly.) My wife cares what I wear...I suspect that she would consider this jacket unacceptable.

Third and most important, I am NOT a sports fan. Outside of the nightly news, I watch about ten minutes of football a year. I average about twenty minutes of hockey. I will willingly watch an entire baseball game (Go Rockies!), but only if I am there in person (games on the TV just are not the same).

So why I am getting this advertisment in the mail? Well, I think that Sports Illustrated's logic is that I am a man living in Denver, therefore I must be a sports fan. Gee, that is some really good market research, Sports Illustrated. Now, we must admit that on some level it is all they need for the most part. I am not saying that men are herd animals...oh wait, maybe I am...but Sports Illustrated has been using this same system for years, and they have yet to go bankrupt.

(Before getting married, I used to buy a single issue of Sports Illustrated every year: the swimsuit issue. Hardly worth getting an entire subscription.)

It is not just Sports Illustrated that does not know the real me. For instance, I keep getting flyers about refinancing my mortage (that would require some more income and a better credit rating) and switching auto insurance companies (I don't drive).

Of course, the prize for badly researched mailing lists actually goes to the companies that keep sending my wife clothing catalogs and book club offers. My wife does not dress up (provided that what they are offering is dressing up); the clothes are the wrong style, and the models are the wrong ethnic background (just because we live in this neighborhood does not mean that we fit in...though I am not sure how anyone thinks this neighborhood is anything other than mixed, but I digress). As for the books, my wife does not read romances and she sure is not a Republican.

So here is to the badly research mailing lists...and the fact that you must mail a million of them out in a shotgun effect to make them worthwhile.

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