Are You a Desperate Marketer?

Let me ask you this...have you ever dated a weirdo? Actually, 'weirdo' isn’t that bad…you have a couple dates and move along. Hopefully, before you see him frying up grasshoppers for dinner, or cutting up your junk mail to create a collage in your honor. I guess what I’m thinking about is the stalker type. You know, the person who seems absolutely perfect, cooking for you, being romantic, and wanting to be with you all the time.

It’s cool until ‘all the time’ is literally all the time.

They’ll text ‘hi’ at 9:49 and then text ‘hello? ...did you get my text?’ at 9:51. They’ll wonder why you’re still at work at 5:31 when they’re waiting for you outside your house. Or even worse, they’ll text you a selfie from your back door asking if you have a hidden key…after having met them two days before. Have you ever gone out with such a person? Ahem…or are you with that person [side note: If so, you may want to run].

Anyway, back to the hypothetical topic. If you’ve ever been with this person, reality eventually sets in, and you can see that this kind of behavior often translates to a super-controller who expects you to adapt your entire life to accommodate their needs. Yikes, right?

So, is there any reason why no one seems to find this new-ish, daily retailer I’ve-got-a-deal-for-you email trend creepy and annoying? It just seems so desperate when I receive email after email…”Get our 20% discount for purchases made before 11am with this code!” it says, or “Tuesday = Need-a-Dress Day!” Jeez. Really? These come through even if I’ve purchased something the retailer the day before. “Hurry back!” OMG.

The desperation is pathetic. I am literally looking at two different deleted emails…sent on the same day: “50% OFF + More! Sale Ends Friday!” …then, “SALE EXTENDED:  50% OFF + More! Sale Ends Friday!”

What? I suppose the old-school version of this is the sweet rug store in my town that several times – I kid you not…SEVERAL – have hung huge banners that say “GOING OUT OF BUSINESS SALE.” Over and over again. Apparently, their plea for help has worked because, well, they’re still there months later. Is this winning? Is this flash of cash the core reason behind this lame, sky-is-falling tactic, except daily?

People. Do you call this Marketing? Or, do you call it ‘Please buy from my company, or I’ll get fired’? Honestly, I have no idea what started this trend and why it continues. I’d love to see some numbers since, you know, this ‘trending’ form of marketing is so ‘track-able.’ Hmmm…businesses can’t seem to tolerate the lack of measurement around PR, but they’ll certainly tolerate this maniacal behavior because it can be measured? Gross. The epitome of ‘slimy.’

Desperate Marketers, beware: This kind of despondency is precisely what will end your relationship with your customers. Because, who likes the needy, gushy, I’ll-give-you-anything kind of relationship, anyway? Where’s the bravado? The ‘cool,’ independent factor that says “I’m good either way. Buy from me. Or don’t. We’re solid over here.”

Maybe some of these CMOs need to read The New Rules to learn a bit about boundaries and self respect. And grow a pair.