Marketing without Communicating:
What Were They Thinking???
All of us have come across them: the marketing inanities that leave you shaking your head (or giggling). Here are some of my favorites:
♦ Robo sales calls. I get these on a periodic but regular basis. As soon as I hear a canned voice, I hang up. But you have to wonder why anyone would assume a business person would sit through a mechanized sales pitch and think “Wow! I’ve got to call these guys and buy their services.” I’m quite willing to bet that the only people who make money with robo-calling are the ones selling robo-calling.
♦ Blog spams. Most of these are caught by the anti-spam programs. But occasionally, some get through. I have to admit that I’ve come to enjoy going through them. I usually get at least one chuckle out of the bunch. I really like the ones that start “I used to like your blog…” Yup. I’m certainly going to post those. Or the guy who’s pushing a YouTube video and his entire post is his name repeated and repeated and repeated. Sure, posting that one, too. Or the ones in Chinese and Russian. (The Russian ones, I am told, are porn sites.) Or, best of all, there are those that purport to be in English but are actually a series of words that, strung together, are at best illiterate. Does anyone seriously believe that someone will actually post this stuff or click the links? Once again, I’m willing to bet that the only people who make money with this junk are the black hat SEO types who promise to get you 10,000 hits on your site in the next two days.
♦ Anti-social social media efforts. Frankly, I am more bemused than amused by the anti-social media marketing I’m seeing, particularly on Twitter. Okay, let’s start off by acknowledging that most (if not all) business people on social media platforms are on them to promote their businesses, get leads, and close sales. There’s nothing wrong with that. But what do people think they are achieving by total self-absorption, by tweeting only about their own blogs, their musings, what they’ve read, etc.? Unless these people are uniquely interesting (and I haven’t found them so), after a while the response is “Who cares?” Although I will admit to a certain horrified fascination in seeing the triumph of ego (and obvious desperation) over the intelligent use of social media.
What is my point? My point is that the essence of marketing is in the communication, not in the technology, tools, or medium. But communication, by its very definition, assumes that there are two parties to the effort. If you don’t think about how the person you are attempting to influence will receive your message, then there is an excellent chance you are not communicating. You are talking at him. And talking at someone is generally not the best way to make a sale.