Wednesday, March 23, 2016

ebay ... nice try, but no cigar

I got this email from ebay.

So here's the thing: 

My car's MOT is due in around 6 weeks [if you're reading this outside the UK, all cars must pass an annual roadworthy test - the MOT]. 

I am assuming that it is no fluke that my MOT is, indeed, due.  How did ebay know? Purchased  data from the relevant government department is my guess. I have no problem with that; if the data is available, use it. You could argue it is good marketing. However, me being me, you know what is coming next. But ...

From their own site visitor data ebay knows [should know] that I am a bit of a 'petrolhead'. And wouldn't someone who has a real interest in cars know when his car's MOT is due. And probably already made plans for any necessary purchases? 

So ... good effort at personalization - but not personal enough for this buyer. And flawed personalization - like any poor targeting - can serve to alienate the customer.

PS: if you have read my Digital Marketingbook this should help with the exercise on page 272 :-)

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