Low Response and Purchase Rates in the Automotive Industry

Dealing with typical problems in direct marketing campaigns

Wendy Gersten
Analytical Customer Relationship Management, DaimlerChrysler Research, Germany

Johannes Ruhland
Business Computing, Friedrich-Schiller-University of Jena, Germany

DIRECT MARKETING AS THE KEY TO THE CUSTOMER

Over the last few years, the use of direct marketing campaigns to solicit potential customers through individual and personalized communications has soared (Belz 1997; DMA 2002). This is due to rising costs for sales representatives, decreasing efficiency of impersonal mass marketing and the resulting need to establish relationships to (potential) customers (Holland/Heeg 1998; Dallmer 1997). The efficiency of such campaigns depends chiefly on four factors: message, design, timing of the mailing, and target group selection. Target group selection is judged by several authors as most important of the four (Nash 1984; Collins 2001; McAlevey 2001).