What My Cat Has Taught Me About Marketing: Spam

My mother is very very familiar with AT&T’s new U-Verse plan. That’s because I’m pretty sure they killed an entire forest with how many promotional mailers they’ve sent to her in the last six months. She doesn’t want it and her annoyance was very clear when she went to get a new iPhone at a local AT&T store. The poor counter lady looked up her account information, got the marketing alert flag in the computer and promptly asked “Well this is exciting. Did you know you’re in a U-Verse service area?”

My mother’s angry retort “Yes. I know. I KNOW. I don’t want it. I JUST want my phone!”

This isn’t spam in the way we traditionally look at it. Spam is usually for male enhancements, false princes of Nigeria looking for someone to help smuggle in a few million dollars or other stupid illicit offers.  But this incessant marketing and pushing of the same product over and over has a negative effect on many people’s attitudes.

My cat could have taught you that.

My big orange tom, Winnie the Pooh (Pooh for short), likes to yowl at night.  That is he did, until he finally pushed me too far and the water sprayer came out.  Now Pooh wasn’t looking for a fancy lady cat, he’s neutered, he just wanted someone to play with him and pet him.  He thought that if he made enough noise I would get out of bed and do just that.

Instead he got sprayed with water until he learned that yowling = unpleasant cold wetness and stopped.

Consider the tolerance of your customers the same way. You can yowl and yowl about a new product or service, but that’s not going to get you the attention you really want. Find the people actually interested and don’t spam them with the same message.  If they’re interested, they’ll respond. If they aren’t you’ll be closing the door on their interest in your other products if you keep yowling.

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