November 23, 2012
Pitch Black Friday Every Day? What Happens When Marketing Gurus Delegate Sales Pitches to Robots for Pseudo Customer-Specific Emails
Sometime ago I was looking for a whiteboard. After hitting the usual office supply eCommerce sites, I checked out what Amazon had to offer. I spent a fair amount of time clicking to individual whiteboard page displayes on Amazon before deciding that what I wanted was not available. Hey I'm picky and perhaps the sort of whiteboard I want doesn't exist in the size I wanted or was beyond what I wanted to spend.
It wasn't long before I received an Amazon email that stated in effect, "Amazon customers interested in whiteboards looked at following ones" with links provided to each product .Ah OK, I had already viewed those products so the spam was deleted. But my first thought was how soon will our major vendors be issuing similar emails. Pretty damn soon.
TR Legal Gets Semi-Smart or Compared to Amazon Very Dumb. After spending a fair amount of time on WestMart, I received a similar email. In this instance it was not narrow focused because I had been viewing a number of secondary titles on diverse topics.
Hello TR Legal, if I am spending a lot of time and clicking on a lot product descriptions on WestMart, it is not because I am interested in buying anything. I am comparing buy-new title pricing (with or without the latest discounted prices) to make cancellation decisions in order to determine if or when I might buy the titles at some later date assuming my library users even notice that the titles have been killed. The robo-marketing coding appears to be generated by some sort of math which takes into account time spent online and product displays viewed on WestMart. It was not, however, "smart" enough to take into account what I have on standing order.
While Lexis Marketing Robo Emails Commoditize the Sales-Buyer Relationship. Then there are the robo-emails being generated by Lexis marketing that frankly used my long-time and very helpful pBook account rep's name in vain. Got one recently that was pitching ALM titles for "my collection." I don't know if it was spit out because I looked at a couple of ALM titles Lexis is selling but clearly my Lexis pBook rep knows that my collection does not need the pitched titles because we have a direct one-on-one, well-established relationship, one that includes knowing I am not interested in any combo-priced pBook-web access ALM titles.
I knew the email was not sent by my rep based on the robo-email address. Frankly I found this to be rather humorous until it dawned on me that, unlike TR Legal, Lexis L&P sales spends one hellva of a lot of time establishing and maintaining customer relationships. Perhaps the robo-email was intended to connect small customers with their pBook account managers. But if that was the case, I seriously doubt ALM treatises are the best products to be pitching.
What's Up with This? My hunch is that it is the dawn of the pseudo consumer-specific robo email era. Sales generate recurring and new revenue streams, not marketing spam. While I like to receive emails about discounted pricings, any email marketing company will advise companies that anything more than one email a week will go unread as in deleted without reading because anything more than one email per week will be viewed as spam. That includes robo-emails.
It is clear, however, that their corporate marketing mavens do not understand the dynamics of sales. Instead of sales driving marketing based on well-informed direct sales-buyer intelligence acquired by human contact and established professional relationships, professional marketers, who quite frankly have a pathological lack of understanding this, are calling the shots. Robo-marketing has no apprecation for the human equation in the buyer-seller relationship. [JH}
As for me, I don't really like robotic responses but I have to say it saves so much time. The sad part is there is lesser customer relationship involved in it.
Posted by: David | Nov 23, 2012 11:26:18 PM