When crappy interruption marketing harms a brand

I write about strategies to turn fans into customers and customers into fans. I also share ways to use real-time strategies to spread ideas, influence minds, and build business.

Worst Practices  |  Marketing

Just because you have my email addresses, it doesn't mean you should email me your marketing message.

Just because you have my phone numbers, it doesn't mean you should call me with your sales pitch.

Just because we're connected on LinkedIn, it doesn't mean you can add me to your email list.

Just because I follow you on Twitter, it doesn't mean you can try to sell me something via Direct Message.

Intrusive, interruption-based marketing techniques frequently do much more harm than good. The creation of a "campaign" can piss people off so badly, that it can actually cause business to fall. It would have been better to do nothing.

Scott Brown's Intrusive Robocalls Will Hand Massachusetts US Senate Seat to Elizabeth Warren

I just published a piece in Huffington Post Scott Brown's Intrusive Robocalls Will Hand Election to Elizabeth Warren. I talk about how Warren will win the US Senate race in Massachusetts because voters like me are fed up with being interrupted at home by robocalls pimping Brown. At my home number, we've received quite a few recorded ads from Brown support groups including the Massachusetts Republican Party. So far, we have received no calls from Warren support groups.

The idea of spending money on annoying people seems like a good idea to traditional marketers. They buy a list, prepare a script, and reach out to "prospects".

Are these robocalls interruptions supposed to good? It just pisses me off. And I'm not the only one. Other Massachusetts residents I speak with are also fed up.

People hate sales calls. Some three quarters of Americans have signed up for the National Do Not Call Registry which does not currently apply to political organizations. This is something Shaun Dakin is fighting to change with his 300,000 person strong National Political Do Not Contact Registry.

If three quarters of Americans signed up to say "no" to sales calls, why the heck would a campaign think making a sales call is a good thing?

Crappy marketing

I see examples of this behavior all the time. Today I was added to an email list that I have no interest in. The person said, "Hello David Meerman. Since we're connected on LinkedIn I thought I'd let you know..." Bang! We are not connected anymore, pal. And hey, you don't even know my name. You blew it by interrupting me with an unwanted message.

If someone sends me an unwanted sales pitch via Twitter Direct Message, I immediately unfollow. Gone, Buh Bye.

Just because you've got passengers confined in a metal tube for a few hours on a plane, doesn’t mean USAir should wake me up from a nap to pimp their damned credit cards.

I don't go to my local mall food court as much as I used to because the owner, Simon Property Group installed a television system that loudly advertises stuff to everyone as they are seated and trying to eat.

You don't have permission

Marketers need to understand that ownership of an email address or phone number or being followed on Twitter is not permission to intrude with a sales message. This behavior does more harm than good. You’d be better off doing nothing.

Note: This is a marketing blog, not a political blog. I am commenting on Scott Brown’s marketing (or rather that of groups affiliated with him), not about the candidate himself.