Minivans and Marketing “Auto”mation…

| Heather Lewis – SVP, eMarketing Services​ |

Are you forgetting this important part of Marketing Automation?

I’ve been leasing a mini-van for the past 3 years. As the end of my lease term approached, I began to receive emails & letters from the General Manager at the dealership incentivizing me to come in early – all well and good. So, this past weekend, we went in and leased a shiny new 2018 mini-van – we drove it home the same day.

As I was back in the dealership just a few days later to get my inspection sticker, I received another email from the GM imploring me to respond regarding my 2015 mini-van and enticing me with 2018 options. I had to chuckle because there I was, literally sitting in the dealership with my new 2018 lease and this email arrives while I’m right there.

And THEN, one day later I receive an email telling me my 2015 mini-van is due for service.
Being in the biz so to speak, I get it… it’s only been 3 full business days since my purchase, and sometimes the flow of updated data from system to system just isn’t that speedy. But I have to wonder, with all the hoopla about Marketing Automation, a set-it-and-forget-it mentality… doesn’t it backfire a bit when someone takes an action that would put them out of the cycle, yet they still continue to receive the pre-set messages?

Luckily, the email offer I received post-purchase wasn’t a better offer than the original! But what if it had been? And what if I was just a typical customer that didn’t understand the direct marketing business and the all-too-often latency of data? I might feel marginalized as a customer, especially after such a big purchase.

Marketing Automation sure sounds great, and turnkey once you map it out and set up messaging & sequences. Just don’t forget to include plans for handling cycle-ending triggers (as quickly as possible).

Now back to my new mini-van … there are 4 cupholders all for me!