14 March 2008

The Dregs of Marketing

It's 6:15, the family is at the table, sharing stories about their day and breaking bread... then the phone rings.


You can probably guess who is on the other end of the line, that's right a solicitor. Great.

Me: Hello.

Caller: Hi, I'm so-n-so from such-n-such. I would like to tell you about.... (it goes on as you probably are aware - you can fill in the product and offer).

Me: I'm not interested.

Caller: Let me tell you more about... (keeps talking without time to take a breath).

Me: I'm still not interested.

Caller: How about if we... (seriously!).

Me: What part of NOT INTERESTED are you having difficulty understanding?

Caller: Thank you for your time (hangs up).

These calls range from a variety of companies, but the most obnoxious has got to be the Calgary Herald newspaper. I received 3 calls this past week from them. Each time I said no, the offer got better... until I said that 99% off is still not worth it for me, to which the guy says wow, I've never heard that before. Well, why would I pay money to pad my recycling box each week when there's plenty of news online for free? The world is changing and newspaper publishing is archaic - they should stop printing altogether and move online 100% -now that's a green initiative. Subscription fees? Why? If they don't have to pay for paper and printing the ad revenue would more than cover the salaries of the editorial staff... I think this internet thing is just too new for them. OK, I got side tracked... sorry, back to the dregs of marketing.

For me, the worst of all telephone solicitors are the ones asking for me to participate in a survey. Most people don't mind taking a few minutes to answer some questions... after all, it will help the makers or distributors of something make it better, won't it? Probably, maybe - who knows for sure... they've never gotten back to me.

So, why do I have a problem with these calls? Because, there is a company that is paying for this information - my information.

Let me put it another way: The person making the call get's paid to collect my information, the company that this caller works for gets paid for collecting my information and the marketing company that was contracted by the manufacturer gets paid for collecting my information.... the only person not getting paid for my information is me.

Other people want to profit off of what is in my head, my thoughts, my opinions, my information. Well, I got news for you - I charge for that all day long, why would I give it away for free in the evening to some company I don't even know?

Reputable companies gather information through paid focus groups and through paid surveys - kudos to these companies. Even if the pay is nominal, it is not only more ethical, but I believe the results will likely be more honest and less skewed than that of a non-paid survey.

Don't even get me started on crowdsourcing.

And, as much as I despise crowdsourcing, I love it and think it's totally hot. So, I'm not even sure what more to say about it, perhaps that will be another blog, once I've got my feelings squared away on the subject.

I guess for today, at dinner when the phone rings, answer it and say, "show me the money!"


Blogger Ryan said...

Kev, without any sarcasm at all - this is only a sliver of why I think you are brilliant.

3/16/2008 02:41:00 PM  

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