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Behavioural Conflict Blog

Why Understanding People And Their Motivations Will Prove Decisive In Future Conflict

The Sandown Mercedes 'Exclusive' Black Car Event .... really?

The pointlessness of most marketing ….

This morning I received an invitation from Sandown Mercedes dealership to attend a special invitation to attend a marketing event for new car deals. What caught my eye was that I had been selected because I was one of their “most valued customers”.


I have never owned a Mercedes; I have never for that matter bought a new car, second hand present so much better value. I have never been a customer of Sandown Mercedes. In fact my only interaction ever with them was to enquire via their website over a second hand estate car that had caught my eye. Since they didn’t bother to return the call I didn’t go and see it let alone buy it. So its a mystery how I can possibly be one of their “most valued customers”.  

And of course I am not. Its all hyperbole; mass marketing with a pretext of exclusivity - Black is the new Platinum apparently - and it hasn’t altered my behaviour one iota. Not interested and not going.  Of course if they had returned my call about the second hand car I had been interested in I might  have bought it. If I had bought it I might have had it serviced there; if I had had it serviced there I might not be quite so cynical about the black card invite dropping into my inbox and I might even have gone along. Who knows, the offers might just have been so tempting that I might have bought a new car. But they didn’t return my call - a simple behaviour that would have been far more effective than their email.

Of course this continues to be the basis of much of what we are doing in conflict comms.  All I hear about in the campaign against ISIS is the ‘battle of the narratives’ and the huge amounts being spent on social media campaigns, like Sandown Mercedes black card event.  If only people would stop for a moment and actually think about this stuff rather than pulling out their chequebooks for big PR companies. I have said it before and say it again - there is no place for a marketing / PR company on the battlefield. Sigh…

Here is my exclusive invite - anyone wanting a new Mercedes please feel free to attend on my behalf!

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