Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Connection, experience, meaning


It can be hard to keep up with blogging. I hit a peak back in February but then slowed. Summer in Portland is not the best time to be sitting at a computer writing. I apologize for not posting more often but my inspiration/time ratio hasn’t been there, until today.

I just got another piece of junk mail from Office Depot. They purchased our name from the business license list after we opened TriLibrium and we’ve gotten bombed with their catalogs ever since, despite repeated requests to stop mailing to us. We are primarily a paperless firm and it is discouraging to consume more paper in their worthless catalogs then we’ve put through our printer in a nearly a year.

I hate Office Depot and other advertisers who bombard me with their junk mail. I don’t want it and yet they continue. Is this how they win over customers?

Permission based marketing is the rule these days. If your prospects don’t want to hear from you, don’t continue pestering them. You’ll waste your money and might actually create an “enemy.”

Here in Portland, I would venture to say there is a significant percentage of the population who despise getting junk mail and other unwanted and intrusive solicitations. If you are responsible for marketing, you must figure out a way to reach people in ways that don’t offend.

Jelly Helm, a casual friend and the former Creative Director at Wieden + Kennedy, gave a talk on advertising and the consumer culture back in December for the Oregon Council for the Humanities “Think & Drink” series. It was a great event and the one thing that really stuck with me was Jelly’s contention that advertising was dead and no longer worked.

People are essentially immune to advertising at this point he said. Advertising used to move products but no more. Given the current state of technology, people expect control over what reaches them.

Jelly claimed that consumers now make decisions based on meaning, connection and experience. If your company isn’t delivering on those intangibles, you will lose customers as someone does.

Finally, if you want to get off mailing lists and reduce the amount of junk mail you receive, this blog post had the addresses and websites so you can make it happen.

1 comment:

Brian C. Setzler said...

I continue to get Office Depot junk mail. I am so upset with them that I'll forever avoid them whenever possible.

I broke down and made what I hope is my final purchase at an OD yesterday only because I was literally right next door to one and needed some supplies for a client meeting.

They were running a highly-visible special at the checkout on virgin (%#&@&^#) copy paper. Why don't they run a similar special on 100% post-consumer?