So from both the standpoint of being a person who needs to market himself, as well as someone who is marketed to, where is that tipping point between being effective and keeping oneself “top of mind” and the urge to push the “do not call, write, email or even think of me again button”?
Case in point are the fine folks at Omaha Steaks. I buy them once in a while, when they are on super special and there’s somebody very particular I want to send a specific gift of meat to. Truthfully, since one often doesn’t know if someone is a vegan or dyed in the wool carnivore these days, nor whether spouse, child units, etc. may have meat issues, the gift of meat is one I would tend to tread lightly with anyway.
It would be great if the Omaha Steaks people sent me an email once every few months, perhaps a postcard or some other offer 3 or 4 times a year. That seems reasonable and would probably keep them somewhat in my thoughts and be a cost-effective way of keeping a customer, albeit not a huge consuming customer, making the occasional purchase.
This however is not the case. In the past 3 months, I have received over 20 items in my mail box, along with an average of 1.5 emails per day, which was topped off by a phone call to my cell phone the other day. I was actually able to take the call and quite curious to see who it was from, since I had apparently been called by that same number 5 times without being left a message.
But then again, maybe they need all this marketing, because when you come right down to it, they’re really asking you to buy 24 oz of frozen meat for what you could get fresh meat for at generally about the same price as their shipping alone.
Living in a large metropolitan area that is filled to the brim with quality purveyors of almost every type of product one might need or want, and being a bit of the amateur chef myself, it’s highly doubtful I would ever need to purchase Omaha’s highly overpriced, frozen meats over a fresh-cut of Neiman Ranch’s finest at 1/5th the price. And yes, I do understand that for a mere $6 extra per 4 oz steak, Omaha is wrapping a piece of bacon around it.
The interesting thing is that Omaha’s massive campaign to get me to buy more has backfired. I could have been content to be a once or twice a year consumer, becuase it”s kind of different and somewhat cool. But they got me to thinking. And I suspect I’m not the only one who feels this way.
And I’m sorry to be picking on Omaha Steaks, but I guess that’s what top-of-mind can do for you. Realistically, I could have picked any number of places from my local “designer perfume store” to the annoying “overseas musician”, who sends me form emails every two weeks telling me to hire him for all my game composing needs. I’ve actually sent him back several replies to take me off his list and that I don’t hire game music composers, but he persists.
For the average human being who may be interfacing with hundreds of businesses per year, the clutter and annoyance can be immense. In some cases, one can truly opt out; push a button and that’s it. In other cases, the opting out simply triggers new contacts to be made which may go under the heading of “We want you back”, “What do we have to do?” or “Please don’t go!!!”
And of course, in many cases we really don’t want to opt out completely, we just don’t want to be so heavily opted in.
Some of you may think I’m making a mountain out of a mole hill, but the facts are that there will be more “information” created in the year 2012 than in all recorded history up until this point.
In my next blog post, I would like to list some of your thoughts and opinions on this subject. I’ll also toss in a few of my experiences from both the good and the bad pile.
What is the right way to try to stay top of mind?
Do you believe that everyone should be a “brand”?
What works or doesn’t work for you in terms of marketing?
Have you dealt with your own marketing that was “less than effective”?
Anybody out there doing it right? Anybody doing it wrong?