Monday, March 17, 2008

Don't waste your marketing dollars - another example!

Sorry for the slight gap in blog posts - it was the March Break after all. Disney's become an annual 'must' for the kids.

In my last post I talked about the importance of targeting your marketing tactics so that a high proportion of the audience is actually your target audience. Well, the next day in the mail, I received a package in the mail that, sadly, strengthened my contention.

Lab Safety Supply (I had to look hard to find the name of the company... but I'll save that one for another day) sent me a 196 page (not a typo) catalogue, in full colour, with a nice glossy cover, listing industrial safety and storage products (like bins, ladders, cabinets, safety goggles, etc.). It was actually a very impressive catalogue. But it was wasted on me!

I have a consulting business. I will never need any of their products. Ever. Why send this to me? It's not hard to get your list provider to include the industry, or SIC / NAICS code, or number of employees even. If they used any of those filters, they would have saved the cost of this rather impressive catalogue (probably in the $8-$10 range) and the postage (probably $2-$3).

Now to give them the benefit of the doubt, perhaps they are counting on me passing it along to someone I know who might be interested in their products. A good thought, but I'm likely not going to. And of all the people they sent it to, I'm probably the most likely to pass it on (since, as a Marketing person, I am aware of the importance of such business building tactics). Most people will be bitter that they're cutting down so many trees to produce it. Perhaps they want me to put it on my waiting room table... but I don't have one. And they should know that.

The strongest argument for deciding to do this is the hope that I will pass it on to someone I know. Then, it is sure to get to the right person, and I have essentially endorsed it by passing it to them. Endorsement, as we know, is a powerful marketing tool. But if they wanted that result, they could have achieved it for a lot less. Send me a flyer instead of a full catalogue. Or an email even. I will never look at all 196 pages, so why send them?!

The point is, don't waste your marketing dollars. Especially when it can be so easily avoided (as is it could have been here). Those dollars are better spent somewhere else.

Have your say: Do you have any examples of marketing waste?

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