This weeks reading focused on the topic of direct marketing. Direct Marketing is defined as “Interactive marketing system that uses multiple media to generate a transaction or other measurable response at any location”. Direct Marketing is a tool marketers use to directly reach a target customer.
A major tool in direct marketing is the creation of databases of potential clients. The backbone of every databases is the mailing list. Mailing list are files of names and addresses that an organization uses to contact prospective or prior customers. There are both internal and external lists. Internal list come from within the organization based on its own customers. External list are purchased from other companies that compile data. This article focuses on the external mailing list and how a company that few would expect is engaging in the selling of data.
The United States Postal Service has been implicated in the selling of names and addresses. The article states that USPS has deals with data collectors to sell information of newly updated addresses. When a USPS user updates their mailing address the new information is put into a database of 160 million previous address changes.
Users of the USPS generally assume that their information will be withheld from other corporations. Users assume this since on the change of address form it states the USPS won’t disclose your address to anyone. There are a few exceptions to this rule to whom the information can be exchanged with, one being mailers who already have your name and old mailing address. In most cases a organization that wants to reach you already has your prior mailing address.
A major issues of marketing databases is consumers are concerned about invasion of privacy. This can be viewed as an privacy to a person who does not want to receive direct mail from organizations. There has been a small loophole found to prevent the selling of new addresses. When someone fills out the change of address form they can indicate that it is a temporary change. This allows a new address to be withheld for six months until the tempora ry change expires. After six months the user will have to fill out another temporary address change form and repeat this process until a more permanent solution is found. This outlines the privacy concerns of database marketing and how it is an issue for numerous people.
Thank You For Reading. You can following on twiter @DanielRJenness as well as on Linkedin http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=260234648&trk=hb_tab_pro_top.