How to Implement Kinder, Gentler Marketing: 4 All-Natural Truths

How to Implement Kinder, Gentler Marketing: 4 All-Natural Truths

Reader Comments (29)

  1. My bad marketing story: I recently was sent a survey from the New York Times about ad blockers and why I use one. I was blunt with them regarding annoying marketing practices, especially things like multiple video ads on one page that all autoplay at the same time, creating a jumble of sound. As the survey went on, it became clear they really didn’t want my opinion. They were trying to persuade me to unblock the ads. They asked questions like “Does knowing that we make our money based on advertising make you more willing to enjoy the ads?” Yes, they used the word “enjoy”!

    Unfortunately, after they got to the whiny part of the survey, they didn’t have any comment blocks so I was unable to tell them that their business model isn’t my problem. If the model based on ads isn’t working, they need to change their model. Sending surveys with questions that sounded more like them whining because those of us with ad blockers weren’t cooperating with that model is not the way to endear themselves with their customers. I wanted to tell them “It’s about us, not you.” 🙂

    • Wow, Linda. I’m speechless!

      Marketing has changed and it continues to change. If there’s anything I’ve learned after all these years it’s that we can’t resist the changes: we need to move with them and adapt to them, always with the goal of serving the people we want to cultivate as customers.

      Thanks for sharing this story. 🙂

  2. Great list! I think the main thing to keep in mind first is “The information is so helpful that prospects purposely sign up to receive it” There is nothing more annoying that someone trying so hard to push you do something! And invasive newsletters or catalogs are one of those.

  3. Great article!!

    You can only get so far saying ‘buy soap, buy soap, buy soap’ or ‘buy my product, buy my product, buy my product’ before your potential customers are inwardly screaming ‘f*** off!!!!’

    Customers want relationships with the brands they buy, a give and take relationship, not yet another source of pressure continually asking for their energy. Customers want to be relaxed and reassured you can take care of their problems, not hounded for a sale.

    Great article!

  4. Great video gallery. These are some of my favorites. Cornerstone content is still one of the strongest key elements to me. In order to rank well you need to prioritize specific content with your structure. I have found that surrounding a topic gets you better search engine results and choosing which pages to treat as the strongest pages let’s you plan around how you want to grow your content.

  5. It’s great there are posts like this one, to teach us or remind us of those simple truths!
    I have unsubscribed from a lot of similar blogs and websites, although I found their content interesting at first.
    Reading such kind of posts, sooner or later, we’ll learn how to do it right!

  6. Great article Pamela! I am guilty of the above and funny that you write about it because I was literally just going into my autoresponder to tame things back a few notches 🙂

  7. Your article is brilliant. And you model what you talk about. I immediately wanted to sign up for everything you offer and I have flagged this email so I can study it more deeply over time — particularly in relation to my own website, webinars, possible future podcasts. I need to think more deeply about how to market my Resonance Repatterning system for life-change from within. And your article is definitely going to help me. Thank you.

  8. What a piece.

    Thanks Pamela for the hard truth. It’s high time companies change their marketing strategies and think about their customers first.

  9. I get annoying frequent emails from companies whose products I’ve purchased…but I just hit delete. And then one day, their otherwise annoying email coincides with my need for something of theirs and cool, I get free shipping or 10% off this time.

    Could it be a numbers thing?

    • I think if the relationship is basically sound then to some degree it’s a numbers thing — but you can improve your numbers by not driving people to unsubscribe or, even worse, just mark you as spam.

      There can be some ROI in “spray and pray,” but it’s nearly always more effective (not to mention less annoying) to send fewer, more relevant messages — ideally using some automation tweaks to get the right offers in front of the right folks.

  10. THANK. YOU. You’ve beautifully illustrated the difference between treating prospects as consumers versus treating them as human beings.
    As a conversion-focused copywriter, I have to balance the razor’s edge of persuading a reader to take action (often while using time honored sales formulas) and being formulaically salesy. Which is why always, always, ALWAYS understanding the emotional needs and goals of my target keeps me out of that “BUY NOW!!!! (quadruple exclamation point) territory and helps me stay nice & comfy in the “How can I help you?” territory.
    Brilliant, bookmarked & Buffered!

  11. Great article, Pamela!
    A couple months ago I purchased a series of exercise videos. I was immediately inundated with multiple daily emails from the creator who seemed to invent a new From name for every campaign that went out. After a few weeks of getting spammy-looking emails that I didn’t open because I couldn’t quickly identify the sender, I unsubscribed from the list. Maybe there was other stuff I would have bought? Who knows. They lost me as a potential buyer.

  12. That’s a really good reminder. The only person who is excited about launch of a new product/range of services are the only one’s who are going to make money of them. For everyone else it is ‘What’s in it for me?!!’

  13. Pamela,

    I really like your ideas about sending soap tips and tricks instead of a massive amount of catalogues. The funny thing is so few people are doing it, not even the New York Times. As human beings, it’s so hard for us to zone out of ourselves and focus on others.

    That’s why those who do immediately stands out from the crowd.

    Thanks for sharing!


  14. I’ve learnt one trick over catalogs: don’t send them to landfill – all that does is fill the landfill and make you keep the rage – the company doesn’t care what you read it or not.

    There’s the adage of “hit em where it hurts”, i.e. Money Talks. Send the catalog back to the company who sent them out (“Return to sender”). Don’t put a stamp on it – make them pay for it. Not only do they have to pay to print and send them out, but they have to pay to get them back, then they have to pay to get rid of them.
    This has actually worked for me on several occasions for different companies (I never got anything again!)

    • I’ve actually found it’s quite effective to put your name on the “Don’t mail me catalogs” lists. Smart direct mailers (dumb ones go broke) don’t particularly want to spend large amounts of money sending print material to people who are just going to throw it out.

      OTOH, if you buy mail order, that will tend to overwrite that — because they know that if the cover appeals, they have a good shot at your business. The best way to never get catalogs is never to buy anything mail order.

  15. What a great post! I was totally captured by your story and felt that I could relate. It got me engaged enough that I consumed the 4 points 🙂 Thanks!

  16. Beautiful.

    I had a similar experience with a clothing website. I bought one product from them and boom, I started receiving emails every week and messages on my phone regarding amazing offers.

    The idea that they had offers every week meant they were trying to attract me and it didn’t sound real – maybe a marketing gimmick.

    Although I loved their product – I unsubscribed.

    I hope many amazing companies follow modern marketing. Loved the post Pamela.

    Stay Awesome.

  17. I am more than guilty sadly of “over offering” my clients. I have been slowly learning that it’s not just about pitching stuff and hoping I make money, but actually offering quality content. Thank you for the reminder, I will do my best to change for the better.

  18. Could you PLEASE PLEASE get these messages out to marketers everywhere? I get DAILY offers from the clothes company I buy from EVERY SINGLE DAY – sometimes twice a day. Who designs these crazy campaigns? Have they seen any sane person buying clothes everyday?

    I delete 99% of the emails and probably go in and buy when the sales are so good – probably because no-one is buying because we’re all turned off by the barrage of emails.

    • We’re trying to spread the word! Feel free to help out by sharing this post.

      Between you and me, I think the people who design those excessive campaigns drink way too much coffee. 😉

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