Is this the best marketers can do?

I was not at all surprised to read that the Liberal Democrats are busy recruiting social media experts, as the next General Election will be the first in which social media will take centre stage. But I have raised the odd eyebrow to discover just how digital spam-crazy brands and agencies have gone this Christmas.

Secret Marketer

I have been inundated with digital Christmas cards all wishing me a wonderful Christmas in varying degrees of creative expertise – from the naff to the plain weird – just how many ways are there to cook brussel spouts and why do I care? But the amazing thing is that 99 per cent of these ‘cards’ are not only from agencies that I have never worked with but from people (and in most cases, agencies) that I have never heard of. What is it about Christmas that makes someone believe that sending an e-card will serve as a successful business development tool and that I’ll be more inclined to do business with the agency than at any other time of the year?

Secondly, retail brands have gone online crazy. Every day since mid-November I have received hundreds of festive emails talking about Frantic Friday, Mad Monday and Syber (sic) Saturday – someone has bought data, and feels it is permissible to use and reuse it. Well- known brands insist on mailing me two or even three times a day, in desperation, to urge me to spend my cyber pound with them.

Is this really the best that marketers can do – inundate people with any old message in the hope that a customer might just buy? In fact, is this marketing? Where is the strategy, the proposition, the targeting and segmentation? And even those who have put a bit of thought into it are drowned out by the sheer number of messages from less scrupulous competitors. Making a loose association with Santa Claus does not give you permission to press send to any address you may have on your database.

If anything is going to force me back on to the high street, it is this – anything to give me an excuse to blanket delete any email with a reference to Christmas. Bah humbug!

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Ruth Mortimer

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Ruth Mortimer

This year was called ‘Empty 13’: no Olympics, no World Cup, no general elections, no… well, anything. It was hailed as a year to forget before it had even begun. But 2013 has not been empty. This was the year in which we discovered that spending £1 on advertising adds £6 to the economy and in which content marketing exploded, with claims that 20 per cent of every pound in marketing is spent on content.

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