My Eye Opening Marketing Experiment

In my May 2007 newsletter, I briefly spoke about the collection of printed marketing materials gathered at our home in just one week.  I’ve been reading that the average American consumer receives anywhere from 600 to 3500 plus marketing messages each day, so this was my personal test. 

I was astonished to learn the collection weighs over 20 pounds and measures 14 inches by 10 inches by 12 inches. 

The collection includes:

  • Seven issues of The Dallas Morning News including all circulars (we are subscribers)
  • Two Southlake weekly newspapers and circulars
  • Eleven monthly glossy magazines targeting our area ranging from Baylor Health, Clipper Magazine, Distinctive Homes, Northeast Tarrant Edition of Living magazine to Society Life.  My collection excludes magazines to which we subscribe!
  • Four letters within envelopes which is lower than average.  I’ve excluded inserts within personally addressed invoices and mailings such as our checking account and utility statements, letters from charities we support and solicitations for my home-based business.
  • Twenty-two catalogs, with three representing companies I routinely patronize.  The majority are from retailers from whom I’ve never made a purchase.
  • Four door hangers and one food drive collection sack
  • Six postcards of various sizes which appears lower than average, as some days we’ll receive at least three.

Since reviewing the collection, I must add that we didn’t receive any cellophane packaged or half-sheet circular sets such as Money Mailer or RSVP.  This week alone, we’ve received three sets!  On average, we receive at least three items from realtors every week.  The count also excludes all the promotional pieces sent home by the school district.  I’m going to undertake another collection next week just focusing on postcards and letters and will keep you posted on the results. 

So what does this all mean for the local small business trying to reach consumers?  Unless you have unlimited dollars for promotional efforts, a small business will benefit from target marketing.  This process starts by studying your existing customers.  Important questions include where do they live, what are their demographics (gender, income, age, household type, etc.), and what are their interests (outdoor activities, children’s sports, travelers, professional or college sports enthusiasts, etc.)?  What benefit or benefits do they receive from purchasing your products or services?  How do your customers find you and how do they shop? What efforts have been the most successful in recent attempts?  How do your competitors reach your target market? 

If you would like to know more about target marketing, please send an email to or contact us at 817-488-2761.