When Marketing feels like Marketing

By Carol M. Highsmith - Public Domain

By Carol M. Highsmith – Public Domain

Advertising and marketing have traditionally been interruptive and frequently annoying. We’ve endured it for lack of options. To watch TV, we had to watch ads. To learn about products, we had to read heavy handed copy.

Thank God, times have changed. We no longer have to endure that. And when we see it, we can turn it off, throw it away and unsubscribe. If brands don’t learn to graciously supply information and entertain us with useful stories, we don’t need to tolerate them. Brands need to listen, help, and entertain us. That’s what will earn our trust.

I made a connection¬†years ago, who asked me to subscribe to an email newsletter he started to promote a book he wrote. I agreed, and have looked at what he’s done to see what I can learn about promoting my own work. Today I’m unsubscribing. Here’s the line that made me do that:

I dare you to watch this quick 3-minute video on the idea that I recorded just for you.

It’s not just for me, and that call to action is pure click bait. Not only did his emails not push me to buy his book, or promote him to others I know, these techniques have pushed me away.

Your relationship with customers and potential customers is a tenuous one. You need to earn it and maintain it. No lying, no tricks, no wasting time. Listen, provide, help, be gracious.


developer, writer, speaker

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