Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Address databases (CRM), the holiday season, and load balancing

It's the time of the year when - it seems so - all companies of the world remember that they have stored "customer" address records somewhere or could acquire some cheaply. At least in my case, most of those companies didn't care for me (to me?) the rest of the year. Now they are sending friendly letters and emails, wishing the best for the season and yes, there are great deals I probably wasn't aware of.

Because from their point of view everybody seems to have plenty of time now during the Advent (nobody attending plenty of celebrations and ceremonies? nobody shopping for gifts? nobody preparing house and garden for the winter? nobody ...?), they suggest to switch all kinds of insurances, think about additional pension funds, or consider other "life-changing" events.

And then there are all those companies trying to sign me/us up for their now daily newsletters with special deals every day, with sweepstakes offering TVs and cash if I am willing to have my address data be distributed to another set of companies ("sponsors").

Finally, yesterday a letter arrived with a set of greeting cards attached which we should use for our holiday mails for friends and family. The front of the card was designed nicely ("how nice!"), the back was mostly advertising ("what a waste" -> trash).

If all those companies that feel the need to maintain my address data in a database all year and consider me a customer only now please would start treating me a customer throughout the year. I had time during the Summer break to look into insurances. I had money to buy the big ticket item after bonus payments in Spring. I was in the mood for pension/retirement planning when I saw the trees turn yellow/brown/red and then the leaves come down in Fall. So, pleeeeaaassseee, consider Load Balancing for us poor consumers, too, and start making use of your databases in different ways.