Most Advertising Is Spam
We marketers face a daunting task: capturing our audience’s attention. This is especially difficult when almost every company out there shouts across multiple channels at the same time, without permission from the customer.
Do you want to sound like everyone else? Then compete in the same generic fashion as those sending unsolicited messages (a.k.a. spam). Your message will rank among the least effective (and potentially brand-damaging) advertising.
The point of view below is somewhat radical. We all need a healthy dose of no-nonsense feedback. Consider the classic tale, “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” It’s time to call a spade a spade!
|Advertising Vehicle||Customer Response|
|Television||Stop disrupting my shows. Most ads aren’t relevant to my needs. I toggle channels to avoid TV ads. I watch movie channels because they lack ads. I purchased Tivo to skip your ads entirely.|
|Radio||Stop interrupting my music and news. I have many stations to choose from. I’ll switch and tune into one that meets my needs.|
|Billboards||Stop threatening my safety. I’m driving and need to keep my eyes on the road. Your ads are a distraction. I won’t remember your message when I get to my destination.|
|Direct Mail||Stop sending me junk. Save your money on the costs of production, paper and postage. Don’t send — unless you want me to toss it into the recycle bin. I’m learning to dislike your organization.|
|My inbox is bursting with unsolicited messages. You’re no better than the sleazy operations that blast my account daily.|
|Banners||Stop disrupting my Web experience! I’m online with purpose. Checking banners is not one of them. Spare me from the interstitials.|
|Magazines||Stop littering my reading environment with ads. I pay for this magazine and don’t want 40 pages of ads crowding 14 pages of content.|
|Newspapers||I scan the paper for relevant stories and news. Put an ad in the classifieds or write an article if you want me to consider your products or services.|
|Telephone||Stop the unwelcome phone solicitations. I get hit with enough ads already. Remove me from your lists forever.|
I don’t suggest the media are ineffective. Rather as marketers, we’ve collectively failed to properly utilize these vehicles to engage in personal and meaningful marketing that’s both direct and 100 percent permission-based. We require communications proven to deliver superior results: higher revenues and ROI.
You need to be different. Cut through the clutter. Most marketers spam. Don’t contribute to the noise. Don’t continue to waste time and money.
To differentiate ourselves, we must consider new perspectives and approaches. We need to question many of the more traditional marketing efforts. The answer is intuitive and straightforward. Instead of spamming, commit to permission-based communications. Be available. Ask to speak. Collect data. Address needs.
The science of marketing has not changed. Give customers what they want, when they want it. However, many struggle in tackling the demand side of our addressable markets. Fortunately, recent technological advances in CRM allow cheaper, better, and faster interactions with customers and prospects in wired locations worldwide.
Consider the many companies of all sizes actively participating in highly profitable breakthrough marketing. These smart leaders send permission-based communications via cost-effective email. Personalized business messaging that works! How? They ask for the right data (name, email address, product/service interests), then use it to design and deliver diversified offers to appeal to the unique needs of a wide range of individuals.
Though technology does the heavy lifting, marketing experts are essential to architect, implement, and continually refine one-to-one marketing programs. The blueprint must accurately define and align with the desired audience. That’s why segmentation is the cornerstone of CRM. Marketers respond to the different needs of customers. They do their homework and pinpoint different target markets based on explicit and implicit demands and interests. They collect customer data from every touch point (all customer-facing channels and employees). All data is stored centrally (enterprisewide business intelligence) and is complemented by ongoing research to pinpoint the latent needs of fickle markets.
Data-driven and fact-based insights drive customer strategy. Customers are ranked by current and potential value and a manageable number of segments are flagged for targeting and pursuit. Communication plans are engineered around buying cycles. Business messaging for each segment is designed to be primarily customer-driven. A strong presence across multiple channels allows for the ultimate experience. This leads to higher customer satisfaction and, in turn, retention.
Companywide preparation and adoption are critical. Internal communications, on-the-job training, and knowledge sharing empower employees across departments to access and make use of both timely and relevant data for better performances.
No one said it would be easy. If it were, everyone would be doing it.
Stop spamming! It costs time and money. No one benefits from irrelevant marketing. It’s a lose-lose situation.
Permission-based (opt-in) breakthrough marketing programs produce superior results. Opt-in messaging to segmented audiences is effective. It allows your organization to be heard, loud and clear. Customers and prospects will be more open and receptive, as long as you can deliver what people want, when they want it. Permission-based marketing allows marketers to connect and engage in rewarding dialogues and interactions with their audiences.
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