Spamalot! Marketing Strategies That Could Waste Your Time And Toxify Your Brand
We entrepreneurs don’t ask for much. All we want is a chance to prove ourselves. All we desire is an opportunity for people to walk through the door so that we can show them why we deserve their business and how they will benefit from being repeat customers. After all, what’s the point in being the best there is at what you do if nobody knows who you are?
In the fast-paced and hugely competitive business landscape of the 21st century, businesses have resorted to a range of creative, imaginative and even audacious marketing practices both in the online realm and (as the cool kids say) IRL. The trouble is that any marketing strategy involves time, effort and resources. In order to attain a level of work/life balance it’s vitally important to invest our efforts into what works while abandoning what doesn’t.
In light of recent or upcoming changes to data protection laws, there are some marketing strategies that aren’t just ineffective, they may be illegal. At the very least they can sour public perception of your business and toxify your brand.
Australian anti spam laws have been in effect since 2003, prohibiting the sending of unsolicited emails or text messages. This put paid to the practice of buying email lists and spamming businesses and individuals with unsolicited content. Similar legislation exists in most states of the US, was introduced in Canada last year and will come into effect in the UK and Europe next month. While this means you can still send targeted email content to customers who “opt-in” to your communications it still may be hitching your waggon to a lame horse. Using a text messaging service like TextBetter may be far more effective. Texts are answered within 15 minutes over 90% of the time while an email can languish unread in an inbox or spam box almost indefinitely.
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“Spray and pray” marketing campaigns
You could be forgiven for thinking that the broader your marketing exposure, the more return you’ll receive on your investment. But the truth is that the wider you cast your net, the more you waste your valuable money, resources and (perhaps more importantly) time. Instead, your campaigns should be laser-focused, designed to cater specifically to the needs of your target demographic.
Waiting on customer referrals
In theory word of mouth marketing is a great way to grow your business organically. Wow your customers and they’ll tell their friends about you, who’ll tell their friends about you and so on. While there’s a modicum of truth in this, businesses can’t simply trust that their customers will refer their friends. This behaviour needs to be incentivised. Offer discount codes, coupons or freebies to customers who refer their friends and colleagues and they will be far more likely to refer you.
It’s a waste of time and resources and it’s almost always an annoyance. Cold calling may show grit and determination but your success rates will always be very low and you will be tarred forever with the nuisance brush. If you get a potential lead out of the bath or away from feeding their baby and they’ll likely go out of their way to avoid your business or may even post something negative about you on social media.
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