Since I move to the new house I've been receiving regularly some sort of "welcome to the neighborhood" package with coupons or just advertising. Yesterday I've received another one. A puzzling one. The "introduction" said: "Please accept the enclosed gifts from neighborhood businesses who are anxious to meet you. [...]" Who are they?
Hollywood Video - ok
Ace Hardware - still ok
Dirctv - local?
Vonage - again, neighborhood?
Labels - (a company on Salem, VA that does cheap address labels)
Proactiv - acne product
Sheer cover - makeup
Gerber Life Insurance Company - in White Plains, NY
So out of the 7 ads/coupons that I've received, only two were from local companies. When I see those examples of bad advertising methods is when I realize why Google makes so much money. Their advertising tries to be more meaningful and not just "there is a new address in town, let's flood this person with all we've got - one might stick!". I'm sure something works, or else they wouldn't do it, but I wonder how much more effective it could be.
In general I believe that a world of easier information transfer should just kill those advertising models. What I think should win is something more in the lines of the "Progressive Auto Insurance" model: you need auto insurance, so come to our site and check out your options. One of the options is ours, but you can end up going somewhere else. You get the traffic, the customer-selected information of what they want so that you can better tailor your products to sell more, and you might even get referral money from some companies.
Die, junk mail, die!