The Zeiss Case. Does Interacting with the “People of the Web” Is Still a Viable Marketing Strategy?

The Zeiss case is an opportunity to analyze one of the most rooted clichés in the world of digital marketing: the one according to which an effective communication strategy must “listen to the reactions of the “people of the web”.

In theory, the concept is not wrong: keeping the “sentiment” of users under control is a way to understand – and manage – the liking of a product or service. In practice, however, this translates into having to follow the reactions of anyone who shouts enough to be heard, even if they have never bought – and never will buy – a particular product. The “Zeiss case” is a paradigmatic example of this paradoxical condition in which a company is “hostage” to perfect strangers. Continue reading “The Zeiss Case. Does Interacting with the “People of the Web” Is Still a Viable Marketing Strategy?”

Intesa Sanpaolo and the Careless Copywriter

I have always been fascinated by the unwanted consequences of an advertising slogan, and by the lack of perspective of (some) communication campaigns.

This time, what grabbed my attention was a claim published on Intesa Sanpaolo website, whose small-prints read:

Until July 2, in Rome, Milan and Turin, the experience of living with no cash.

Almost automatically a reaction snapped out in my – and I assume not only mine – mind: looking at how economy is currently performing, a lot of people don’t need a bank to “feel” how does it is to live with no cash.

This simple consideration – a pun, actually – sinks down the copywriter’s attempt to spin the optimistic view of the world, that incites people to live… sorry spend money without (immediate) worries.

How could Intesa Sanpaolo CEO handles himself if, for instance during a TV debate where he talks about this ad campaign, somebody throws at him a line like the one I’ve figured out?

Yes, he might explain that the message is not meant to offend people that have hard time in carry out their daily life, that the message, on the contrary, is an hymn to the joie-de-vivre and so on. But as always happens with short, neat and powerful hits, when? you start dodging the blow with complicated explanation, the damage is already there.

Of course this scenario is not going to happens for the probability that somebody might notice, understand and speculate on this minor issue is actually close to none. But as once a great advertising man told me about the importance of covering all bases:

nobody is going to notice a small mistake, but the? one who will exploit it against you.

How (not) to Do Permission Marketing

A few days ago I’ve got an email written in a friendly tone, where a company providing education services tried to sell me a seminar on Sport Law.

Ususally, I don’t answer SPAM, but this time I’ve decided to run an experiment. So I wrote back saying:

Dear Sir,
If you want to use direct marketing techniques to advertise your business, you’d better be more careful.
To offer a Sport Law seminar to a Sport Law professor shows that you use a mailing-list without actually knowing who your targets are.
The outcome is that an action that borns as “direct” marketing, dies as SPAM

I didn’t get an answer to my reply, thus confirming my initial suspect and giving me the chance to do a broader musing about the Direct Marketing idea.

To go? for a friendly and personal style at the first contact implies that, first, a follow up should be taken into account by the sender and, second, the “personal” tone should be maintained. By doing so, the? recipient get the feeling that the company actually wants to deliver a tailored service.

On the contrary, “playing friend” without keeping the promise produces the opposite effect: the sender, the product and the company are labelled as entities with no actual interest in building a personal rapport with the perspective customer.

Thus, if a company doesn’t give its targets the attention required by Permission Marketing techniques, it shouldn’t pursue this option, because – as in this case – such kind of companies would be immediately equaled to sellers of (various colours)pills, hair fertilizer, and miraculous investments. That, at least, don’t try to lure us into believing that they actually care about us.