Today is Saturday, we are shopping in Guildford for a pair of jeans for my girlfriend.
I’m probably not the only male over 30 that find the names and styles in jeans bewildering. Let me get this right, it’s straight, high rise, skinny, boot cut, skinny ankle …
Anyway we get the jeans and standing in the queue (standing in line if you are in the US) waiting to pay.
A Gap representative asks us, have we (Gap) got my girlfriend’s email address. Julie (my girlfriend) says no, you email twice a week so I unsubscribed. The cashier agreed “it can be a bit much” she says.
Then the cashier said “if you download the app you get 5% off”.
So not only do you want to send us emails (we don’t want) twice a week but you want to get on my phone and start sending us notifications about your product? I realise that Gap need to sell things, but twice a week emails, which will be just sales pitches and then added on top of that notifications on my phone which will be sales pitches just seems a bit much to me. But there is a Marketing Director or Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) in Gap somewhere who thinks this is just natural and the way business should work in 2019.
We actually decided to pay more so we don’t have to take all those notifications. I wonder how many people who are not as lucky as us and have to take the discount only to be bombarded by product notifications they don’t want?
It was strange as Julie was apologetic. She is very loyal to Gap. Always buys her jeans there but loyalty shouldn’t be repaid with being bombarded with shit. And you shouldn’t have to choose to be bombarded because you are less well off. Maybe marketing has become curse of the working classes?
I’m not the only one who believes what I’m about to say this but I was recently interviewed by Douglas Burdett, link to interview here
In this interview, I talk about how people are annoyed with the constant bombardment of adverts, emails, cold calls in fact all interruption marketing. So much so that we use legislation (GDPR) and technology to block as much as we can. Even Mark Schaefer in his new book “Marketing Rebellion” agrees that people have had enough of these constant sales pitches.
Next on our shopping trip in Guildford we went to Bravissimo. At the checkout (point of sale), we were informed that they were changing the customer loyalty points, but …. the only way you will be able to hear about this would be to subscribe to marketing newsletter. “How often is the newsletter” we ask. Weekly we were told. I pointed out this wasn’t GDPR compliant, but of course this fell on deaf ears.
NB: GDPR has stopped companies forcing you to join a mailing list to receive other information. For example, in the past if you downloaded a white paper from a web site to get a copy you would have to sign up to a mailing list. GDPR has stopped all of this. Thankfully.
So, with a sigh, my partner agreed to sign up to the weekly newsletter, what choice did she have? None.
There is a better way. Rather than throwing mud at the wall and hoping it will stick, in some 1990s marketing frenzy, you could be where all your clients are. On social media.
Now I don’t mean moving you’re spray and pray from email to social media. Endless posting, hoping that somebody will listen. What I mean is building relationships, better still, empowering your staff to talk in an authentic way on social.
What do I mean?
Recently, we were onboarding a reseller in Singapore and as we looked out the office window we spotted the Singtel building.
Singtel are the leading mobile (cellular) company in Singapore, similar to Vodafone in the UK or AT&T in the US. Looking them up on Twitter they have 35,000 followers. Now 35,000 followers on Twitter is pretty good for anybody accept when you know they have 4 million subscribers and 25,000 employees. It’s a great example of how nobody wants to listen to their corporate message.
Now you could take those employees, empower them to look good and talk on social and even if they only had 100 followers each that would be 25,000 x 100 = 2.5 Million global reach.
Even if only 50% or even 10% of the employees activated would be better than the current corporate blast. That also assumes that those employees are not amplified, which of course they will be as those 100 followers love those employees and the content will be funny, insightful and educational. Just what modern internet, social media, mobile buyers are looking for.
Julie, would love to have a relationship with Gap and Bravissimo on social. Not in a push marketing way where you ram products down our throats, but in a two way conversation. How about the shop knowing that Julie was coming? They could have suggestions for her? Now I think they would sell more doing that (and so does everybody I talk to) than the endless, throwing shit at the wall marketing strategy they have right now.
Just think being able to market and grow revenues at less cost than you spend today?
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