Thursday, 11 November 2010

Don't call me average

I’m going to have a rant. I’ve just had yet another email from a local business man who assures me he is in the business of selling. But it’s the funniest looking selling I’ve ever seen.

He doesn’t know me, he doesn’t know my business, and he doesn’t know my priorities, yet he assumes he does. He writes about my knowledge and my concerns. The only trouble is he is absolutely wrong. This might be forgivable if we hadn’t already exchanged emails, and if he didn’t have ample opportunity to figure out a little bit about me.

In other words, he is treating me as average. Which I can assure anyone who is trying to sell to me, I am anything but average.

Broadcast marketing is suitable for broadcast media, like the cinema, the TV or radio. Even then there is a great deal that advertisers can do to target their message to their audience. People want to be entertained at the cinema, and Orange devised a brilliant set of advertisements that are funnier than many films. Cooker manufacturers sponsor foodie programs. Instead of being bored by the idea of a new kitchen appliance, I am inspired to recreate part of Tuscany for my own adoring family.

So why, oh why, do people use broadcast messages on personal platforms? Email is personal. It is addressed to me individually, in the middle of my busy day when I am worrying about other things. My business colleagues use email to talk to me, as do my family and friends. So why do people broadcast their offerings with no thought of the suitability for their audience?

Twitter is personal; I follow individuals, not homogeneous globs. So why are people writing direct messages to me as if I were a tiny fraction of a homogeneous glob? Maybe they too think I am average. A girl could get a complex …

There is a lovely (old) video clip of a famous (m)ad man having a rant about not knowing him, not knowing his company, not knowing his problems, etc etc Now what did the salesperson want to sell him? For the life me I can’t find the clip, otherwise I’d give you a link. But it’s oh, so relevant to anyone in the business of finding new customers. Because none of us are average.

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