Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should

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  |  Advertising

shutterstock_2328873613Marketers have many choices about how we interact with existing and potential customers. We can be selfish, doing things for short-term revenue hits that annoy our best customers. Or we can build fans by focusing on what’s best for long-term loyalty.

Here are a few things that come to mind. I’m sure you can think of others.

Just because you can send a survey after client interactions doesn’t mean you should.

Don’t you just hate that so many mundane interactions with companies we do business with generate a request to “complete a brief survey”. Ugh. No, I don’t want to do a survey after my hotel stay, my vaccination, or my two minute phone call with customer service. I especially dislike when a rep tells me that the survey is coming and that they would appreciate positive reviews.

Just because you can send frequent offers to your email list doesn’t mean you should.

Your email list is one of the most valuable assets your company owns. It’s the permission granted by people that allows you to share valuable information with them. However, if you abuse the channel by making offers all the time, people will get annoyed and unsubscribe.

Just because you can discount your products and services doesn’t mean you should.

Many companies offer regular or even all the time discounts. While the practice of discounting can bring in cash, existing customers who paid full price may get annoyed. Worse, a company can train customers to never pay full price again.

Just because you can ask for tips doesn’t mean you should.

I usually leave a generous tip to my server at a restaurant when I receive good service. I’ll also leave a tip when somebody makes something for me, such as the barista or the person hand crafting my sandwich who carefully follows my specific requests. And I always leave cash on the bed in my hotel room each day of my stay for the housekeepers and I always tip my Uber drivers. However, it’s annoying when a retail shop presents me with a credit card system where the default is to choose a tip when all the clerk has done is ring up a purchase.

Just because you can use AI to write blog posts doesn’t mean you should.

AI makes it super easy to create a blog post. But do you want generically created content to reflect your organization? Yes, I use AI myself, for things like brainstorming, summarization, proofreading, or help crafting a headline. But I don’t use it to write posts. If that changes I will be sure to write a disclosure to that effect.

Just because you can market credit cards on airplanes doesn’t mean you should.

Okay, I know this one is a pet peeve. And alert readers may recall that I have written about it in the past. I absolutely detest that airlines have become credit card companies that happen to also own an airline. The harsh loudspeaker announcement of the credit card offer that wakes me up from my nap on the plane is more than annoying. It’s infuriating. I’m looking at you, American Airlines.

David Meerman Scott speaking live